Yoga for Arthritis
What is Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are:-
- Osteoarthritis (OA) and
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
The symptoms of arthritis usually develop over time, but they may also appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women than men and in people who are overweight.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Your range of motion may also decrease, and you may experience redness of the skin around the joint. Many people with arthritis notice their symptoms are worse in the morning.
In the case of RA, you may feel tired or experience a loss of appetite due to the inflammation the immune system’s activity causes. You may also become anemic — meaning your red blood cell count decreases — or have a slight fever. Severe RA can cause joint deformity if left untreated.
Causes of Osteoarthritis:
- fast life or violent sports lead to early aging
- Sedentary life also leads to early aging
- Leads to obesity – lack of blood supply, weak muscles → most common cause
- Family tendency
- injured joints
- Weak muscles – can’t bear weight
- Chronic stress
- psychological oxidative stress
- When we stress, the muscles contract, heart rate increase, respiratory rate increases, blood sugar level increases (Diabetes), intestinal blood supply decreases (constipation)
- Infection of joint
- lack of calcium, vitamin D. Phosphate → needed for normal functioning of cartilage on the articular surface → in old age, vitamin D stores in the body are low.
- Fatty food, junk food, high cholesterol
- Frequency of food intake
- Age – as age progresses – degeneration
- Early age trauma
- Bad habits – smoking, drinking, staying up late and day sleeping
How does Yoga help in Osteoarthritis?
- Yoga reduces pain sensitivity and increases tolerance
- Improves muscle strength and joint mobility
- Reduces weight in obesity
- Reduces oxidative stress by reducing psychological stress
- Improves bioavailability of vitamins through Kriyas
- Gives deep rest to the knee and thus helps in healing and cartilage regeneration
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Environmental factors – smoking, infection, drinking
- Physical stressors – Cold climate, post-delivery, menopause
- Emotional stressors
- Modern lifestyle – chronic/acute frustration, depression; Shocking events, lack of physical activity
- Genetic factors
How does Yoga help in R.A.?
- Yoga reduces the relapse rate and period
- Reduces joint pain
- Improves quality of life
- Helps to reduce allopathy medicine dosage and side effects
- Prevents deformities
Yoga for Arthritis
What is Yoga?
According to Bhagwad Gita Equanimity, Stability, Balance, Harmony, Equipoise is yoga i.e. Samatvam Yoga Ucchyate.
According to Sage Vashistha yoga is the skill to calm down the mind i.e. Manah prasamana upayah yogah.
And according to Great Sage Maharishi Patanjali yoga is the cessation of mental modifications i.e. Yoga is to gain mastery over modifications of Mind.
According to Guruji Shubham Barwala Ji, yoga is the recognition of Mental Modification the moment they arise in our consciousness.
According to Guruji Neeraj Medharthi, Ji Yoga is the state of perfect balance.
Evidence-based yoga therapy or Yoga for Arthritis
At Vedamrita our purpose is to bring the best and scientific research and evidence-based yoga therapy to our beloved readers and our students likewise and thereby increasing the general acceptability of Yoga therapy amidst the field of various treatments available. Below are few research papers we find out related to Yoga and Arthritis.
Research Papers: –
Moonaz SH, Bingham CO 3rd, Wissow L, Bartlett SJ. Yoga in Sedentary Adults with Arthritis: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Trial. J Rheumatol. 2015 Jul;42(7):1194-202. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.141129. Epub 2015 Apr 1. PMID: 25834206; PMCID: PMC4490021.
Stephens I. Medical Yoga Therapy. Children (Basel). 2017 Feb 10;4(2):12. doi: 10.3390/children4020012. PMID: 28208599; PMCID: PMC5332914.
Kolasinski SL, Neogi T, Hochberg MC, Oatis C, Guyatt G, Block J, Callahan L, Copenhaver C, Dodge C, Felson D, Gellar K, Harvey WF, Hawker G, Herzig E, Kwoh CK, Nelson AE, Samuels J, Scanzello C, White D, Wise B, Altman RD, DiRenzo D, Fontanarosa J, Giradi G, Ishimori M, Misra D, Shah AA, Shmagel AK, Thoma LM, Turgunbaev M, Turner AS, Reston J. 2019 American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation Guideline for the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020 Feb;72(2):149-162. doi: 10.1002/acr.24131. Epub 2020 Jan 6. Erratum in: Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 May;73(5):764. PMID: 31908149.
Ward L, Stebbings S, Athens J, Cherkin D, David Baxter G. Yoga for the management of pain and sleep in rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Musculoskeletal Care. 2018 Mar;16(1):39-47. doi: 10.1002/msc.1201. Epub 2017 Jun 16. PMID: 28621011.
Siegel P, Tencza M, Apodaca B, Poole JL. Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review. Am J Occup Ther. 2017 Jan/Feb;71(1):7101180050p1-7101180050p11. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2017.023176. PMID: 28027042.
Panch Kosha Based Yoga Therapy or Yoga for Arthritis
Yogic Diet – Yoga for Arthritis
- Eat on time. Chew food properly.
- Sattvic home-cooked meals.
- Increase the intake of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, cereals, rice, and fresh fruit in your diet.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Keep the body well hydrated.
- Avoid processed and refined foods.
- Try to avoid nerve stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate.
Asanas – 8 Yoga for Arthritis
- Joint loosening exercises – to reduce stiffness of joints
- Shakti vikasaka
- Sukshma vyayama
- Asanas involving slowness and breathing
- Cat Pose
- Cow Pose
- Bridge Pose
Kriyas – Yoga for Arthritis
- Jala neti/sutra neti
- Vamana dhauti
- Kapalabhati 20-30 strokes per min
Pranayama – Yoga for Arthritis
- Bhastrika (Slow Motion)
- Sectional breathing
Manomaya Kosha – Yoga for Arthritis
- Yoga Nindra
- Emotional Counseling
- Mind Sound Resonance technique (M.S.R.T.)
Vijnanamaya Kosha – Yoga for Arthritis
- Counseling about the disease, triggering factors, diet
Anandamaya Kosha – Yoga for Arthritis
- Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Spend time with family and loved ones
Explore this Health Topic to learn more about Yoga for Arthritis, the role of yoga and yoga therapy for various diseases, and where to find more information regarding it.
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