Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions that people suffer from all around the world. Recent studies have shown that more than 50% of the people over the age of 40 are affected by arthritis in United States and numbers are not any different in other parts of the world. Previously, it was believed that only older adults suffer from arthritis but in reality, people of all ages (even children) and gender are affected by it. In this article, you will learn what causes arthritis and what are the benefits of yoga for arthritis?
What Causes Arthritis?
Arthritis is basically a term given to pain and inflammation occurring in different joints of the body such as knees, wrists and ankles. Arthritis is caused by the wear and tear of the tissues that cover our joints and protect them from injuries. As mentioned earlier, chances of arthritis increase with the age and being overweight can also play a part in the development of arthritis. Moreover, people who live a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity are mostly affected by arthritis.
Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis.
There is a common misconception that arthritis patients should avoid exercising in order to avoid pain but in reality, lack of physical activity is even worst in this case. People living a sedentary lifestyle experience more deterioration of protective tissues and pain in the joints. It is very important to exercise on regular basis even for arthritis patients in order to strengthen the muscles and joints. Exercises like running, cycling and weight training can cause unbearable pain to arthritis patients so slow and controlled movements such as those performed during yoga are best in this case. Doing yoga on regular basis can significantly reduce the swelling and pain in the joints by improving blood circulation. Majority of yoga poses strengthen our joints and improve their mobility by making them more flexible.
Another benefit of yoga for arthritis is that it reduces the levels of uric acid in the body and helps us in losing extra weight since these are two of the major causes of arthritis.
Some Useful Poses of Yoga for Arthritis Patients.
Below are few yoga poses that are useful especially for arthritis patients:
Easy Pose: As the name suggests, it is one of the easiest poses in yoga but one of the most effective ones as well. This particular pose helps us straighten the spine and improve focus.
How to Perform: Sit down on the floor with your legs crossed and place your palms on the knee caps. Make sure that your back is completely straight while performing this pose.
Shoulder Stretches: This pose requires some time to master but once performed properly; it is the best pose for relieving the shoulder and upper back pain.
How to Perform: Sit down on the floor with your legs crossed and back straight. Now grab a strap with your hands about shoulders width apart. Lift your arms in a straight line to the point where they are parallel to the ground and inhale deeply at this point. Now gently raise your arms in straight line and bring them from overhead to your back while exhaling.
Cobra Pose: This pose is very useful in improving the flexibility of upper body. Cobra pose stretches the back, chest and shoulders and helps in relieving the joints pain.
How to Perform: This pose starts with you lying on your belly facing the floor. Now slowly lift your neck and chest above the floor in order to stretch your torso. Hold this pose for few seconds in order to properly stretch your lower back and chest.
Although yoga for arthritis patients is very useful and beneficial but care must be taken that you don’t overstretch yourself while performing different poses in order to avoid injuries. It is important that you start out slow and be gentle so that you can gradually improve your flexibility in order to perform more complicated yoga poses.