Arthritis Pain & Yoga

Are joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion daily struggles for you? If so, you aren’t alone. More than 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders. In fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with the severest forms resulting in chronic pain and an inability to even walk or climb stairs. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent arthritis, but you can help reduce your risk or delay the onset, as well as ease the discomfort if you already live with joint disorder. You can maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, practice proper posture, eat a healthy diet, reduce your sugar and alcohol intake, and practice yoga.

Regular yoga practice can help arthritis sufferers improve pain, stiffness, inflammation, joint flexibility and function, muscle strength, and balance. It can also improve sleep habits and reduce stress. Researchers who have studied the effects of yoga on people with conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, found that weekly yoga classes significantly improved physical function and reduced pain in the study participants.

Here are some basic poses for arthritis pain sufferers. But remember, these poses should be modified to compensate for specific joint disorders:

Warrior Pose (Veerbhadrasana)

Strengthens the knees and shoulders. It also releases stress and promotes balance.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Opens the shoulders and back and improves flexibility. It can help reduce stress and fatigue.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Strengthens muscles in the knee joints. It can also lessen anxiety and stress.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Supports the legs, knees, back, and ankles, and opens the hamstrings, groin and hips.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Improves flexibility of the spine and strengthens the shoulders.

Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Stretches the shoulders and hamstrings while strengthening the writs, arms, legs, and back.

While these poses might seem easy to try on your own, it’s important to first take a class with a qualified yoga instructor who can help you modify the positions for your joint limitations. Instructors have props like blocks, balusters, and straps that can aid you in your practice. LHAA offers yoga classes that are therapeutic in nature, taught by experienced, trained yogis who understand the benefits of breath-initiated, intentional healing movement using the body’s own knowledge and potential limitations. Visit our yoga studio page here!