3 Ways Yoga Benefits Arthritis Patients
Yoga is a mind-body exercise that originated in India. The benefits of yoga are well-known, ranging from physical to mental health improvement. The exercise is becoming more popular among persons looking to improve their fitness levels.
There are several forms of the yoga exercise. This includes gentler forms that virtually anyone can practice, to more intense poses reserved for more experienced persons.
With arthritis patients suffering from joint pain and stiffness, and yoga being touted as the cure to somany joint related woes; is it really possible for arthritis patients to benefit from this activity?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Below are 3 ways yoga helps arthritis patients:
- Improves Muscle Strength
Practicing yoga can help increase muscle strength if done properly and consistently. Many people who suffer from arthritis complain about muscle weakness. This is especially true among the elderly who experienced a gradual loss of muscle strength with age. This weakness occurs as a result of less usage of the muscles. It has been proven time and again that not using muscles will result in muscle loss or reduction.Practicing yoga helps to release built up tension in the muscles, thus helping to maintain muscle strength and promote growth.
- Reduces Joint Pain
One of the most common symptoms experienced by arthritis patients is joint pain. The stiffness and inflammation in the joints make it very painful and uncomfortable when the slightest pressure is applied. Yoga is well- known for its ability to reduce inflammation and stiffness within the joints. Patients are advised to choose gentler stretches to ease joint inflammation, as more intense stretches might have the opposite effect and aggravate the already inflamed joint. In order for this to be effective, the exercises need to be practiced consistently.
- Increases Endurance Levels
Contrary to popular belief, not all yoga exercises are for the purpose of relaxing joints and muscles. There are a variety of poses for all activity levels, including cardiovascular exercises. Persons suffering from arthritis often experience decreased muscle strength as well as reduced physical energy and endurance. Because of this, physical activity is especially important for these persons. Arthritis patients have a variety of yoga exercises to choose from to increase their activity level, and thus their endurance level. However, it is recommended that these persons consult their physicians before partaking in any intense forms of exercises.
While arthritis can be a very physically limiting exercise, all hope is not lost for patients. The most common symptoms experienced by arthritis sufferers include reduced muscle strength, joint pain and inflammation, and lower endurance levels. There are various forms of yoga exercises that address each of those issues. Beginners are encouraged to start with gentler forms of yoga exercises and then ease into the more intense forms, especially for the purposes of building endurance. Despite the many benefits of practicing yoga, arthritis patients are still expected to contact a health professional before beginning any form of physical exercise.