Several studies show the effectiveness of yoga on hard to treat osteoarthritis. Pain and range of motion are improved with yoga-based exercise in the hands and knees of osteoarthritis sufferers.
What Is Osteoarthritis? Arthritis is inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form and the most common type of arthritis. Cartilage in the joints wears away over time or from damage or stress and causes inflammation and pain which lead to limited range of motion for osteoarthritis sufferers.
Exercise and Osteoarthritis. Exercise can help improve range of motion for those with osteoarthritis. However, many exercises can be painful to those who suffer from damaged joints and inflammation, especially high impact exercises which impact the knees or back.
Yoga and Osteoarthritis. Yoga is a gentler form of exercise that combines the mind and body for a lower impact type of exercise. Yoga focuses on the mind and body connection and uses more stretching type exercises over high impact aerobics-style exercises. Yoga can build strength in the muscles surrounding the joints and increase range of motion. Yoga is safe for those who suffer from osteoarthritis and brings more relief than other types of exercises according to studies.
Yoga and Osteoarthritis of the Hands. A study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, found that those who participated in yoga exercise for the hands had significantly less pain and inflammation, and greater range of motion after the trial period than those who didn’t participate in the yoga exercises.
Yoga and Osteoarthritis of the Knees. A separate study by other researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine showed improvement in the same manner for those who suffer osteoarthritis of the knees. This study showed that yoga is even beneficial to obese patients over 50 years of age when dealing with issues of osteoarthritis such as pain and range of motion.
WebMD; The Basics of Osteoarthritis
Journal of Rheumatology; Evaluation of a yoga based regimen for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine; lyengar Yoga for Treating Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Knees