Yoga to decrease joint pain

Osteoarthritis is a disease whereby the cartilage in the body gradually breaks down. This in turn affects the joints, which often become stiff and painful. Osteoarthritis is currently the most common joint disease in the world, and unfortunately there is no cure. Physical activity is a way to alleviate the pain in the joints over the long term. Walking, swimming and yoga are all examples of gentle training that can help relieve the pain of arthritis.

Read more about osteoarthritis treatment.

Movement acts as pain relief for osteoarthritis.

A common but incorrect assumption is that physical activity and movement wear down the joints and can worsen the condition for a person who is affected by osteoarthritis. However, research indicates the exact opposite. Exercise, preferably combined with education and potential weight control, is the best way to relieve osteoarthritis pain and produces the best results over time.

Quite simply, moving around is extra important for people who have pain in their joints. Individually customized training is, in principle, the only thing that provides long-term, pain relief for osteoarthritis, rather than just temporary relief. Contacting a physiotherapist is a good way to get tips on helpful movements and how to perform them. Many exercises can also be performed at home.

Here are examples of exercises that can be done at home without equipment.

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for people affected by osteoarthritis. Namely,the entire body is activated in a gentle way. At the same time, balance, flexibility and strength can be improved. In addition, yoga places a lot of focus on mental well-being as well, which can help with pain-relief for people affected by osteoarthritis.

How yoga works

Yoga is a form of exercise that is easy to customize for the individual. Regardless of fitness background and athletic ability, it is very easy to perform yoga. For example, there are many different types of yoga – everything from slow, meditative variations to more high-intensity and quick exercises. People who enjoy heat can also try hot yoga at selected locations. This is where motions are performed in a heated location, which softens the muscles and joints. (Read more about hot yoga on Wikipedia.)

Yoga can have several beneficial effects on osteoarthritis. The body can become stronger and more flexible, and this form of training can also contribute to reducing stress anxiety and tension. This is because the exercises are performed slowly and there is a lot of focus on breathing. This has been shown to work well for pain relief from osteoarthritis.

Yoga at home – good for beginners

A common misunderstanding is that you need to be flexible to begin yoga. This is incorrect, anybody can start doing yoga. This form of training can also be particularly good for people who are stiff or who have difficulty relaxing because it focuses on just these problems. Doing yoga at home can also be good for beginners who feel unsure about whether they are doing it correctly. Practicing yoga at home can feel much more secure than doing it in a group. Practicing yoga at home can also act as supplemental yoga sessions for those times when you do not have the time or the ability to practice in a group. Regardless of where and when you choose to practice yoga, it is important to listen to your body and to set aside any thoughts about “high performance”.

Starting with simple exercises

Starting with a gentler variety of yoga can be a good idea when you are looking for pain-relief from osteoarthritis. If you have a yoga instructor or attend a class, it can be a good idea to tell the yoga instructor about your joint pain so that they can show you alternative postures with less strain. Yoga should be gentle and beneficial for the joints, so if it feels painful, it is important to listen to the body and reduce the strain and intensity.

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