More than 50 million adults live with arthritis pain and related symptoms in the United States today, and that number is expected to rise.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, by 2040, 78 million adults will be diagnosed with this debilitating chronic condition of wear and tear on the joints.
If you are one of the millions suffering with arthritis, you may be familiar with conservative treatment options, including medication and physical therapy. If you have not have considered yoga, it may be time. This age-old practice has helped many patients find relief from their arthritis pain.
How Physical Activity Affects Arthritis Pain and Related Symptoms
Patients suffering with arthritis pain and stiffness tend to rest their joints and limit their activities. It can be difficult to get up and get moving when symptoms flare up.
In addition, many sufferers aren’t sure what types of exercise they can do safely, or they fear causing further injury. So they stay on the couch and grow worse, as being sedentary often leads to increased pain and joint discomfort.
That’s why orthopedic and sports medicine doctors recommend physical activity to help alleviate arthritis symptoms. Regular exercise can help increase strength and flexibility as well as maintain range of motion without causing symptoms to worsen. And being active can help delay the onset of disability for arthritis sufferers.
Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis Symptoms
Yoga can be a safe and effective physical activity for arthritis sufferers.
The practice is considered to be low impact, and studies have shown that it can boost muscle strength, balance, endurance and flexibility. And thanks to its meditative nature, yoga offers other benefits as well, including relaxation, body awareness and stress reduction. Research also has shown a link between yoga and increased mental and physical energy, with participants feeling more alert and less anxious.
Relieving Your Arthritis Symptoms Through a Yoga Program
As with any new exercise program or sports activity, taking the proper precautions before you begin will help you stay safe and avoid injury. Arthritis patients should consult with their orthopedist or rheumatologist before beginning a yoga program to ensure that they are healthy enough for this practice.
Start with a gentle or therapeutic class, or look for a class specifically designed for arthritis pain sufferers. A qualified instructor can guide you in yoga poses that do not stress any vulnerable joints.
While exercising, pay attention to your body. Move slowly and with caution, and if any position hurts, stop immediately.
In addition to the conservative treatments you practice at home, consult often with your orthopedic specialist for further recommendations. Steward Health Care: Centers of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provides a full range of orthopedic treatments for all types of conditions and injuries. Contact one of our Utah facilities today to schedule a consultation to discuss your arthritis pain.