Adults who struggle with rheumatoid arthritis understand the pain of swollen joints, morning stiffness, and fatigue that can come with flares. You may have tried several treatment options, including exercise, which can keep muscles strong and help to reduce stiffness. But have you ever considered yoga to help treat your symptoms?
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, affects men and women usually between the ages of 30-50 and affects the joints. RA is an autoimmune condition that can move to other parts of the body and is controlled with the help of medication.
Yoga for rheumatoid arthritis, as a low-impact exercise to ease joint pain and stiffness, can help reduce inflammation and add strength to the muscles around the joints. Although it may seem easier to avoid exercise when you are experiencing pain, a Harvard study found that regular exercise can actually relieve symptoms in people with arthritis.
Why Yoga Is Good For You
There are several reasons why yoga may helpful to someone with RA:
- Yoga allows for individuals to adapt routines in order to meet their needs.
- Yoga is not only good for the body, but the mind as well.
- Yoga is low-impact, so it’s easy on the body.
- Yoga can increase energy, reduce stress, and help with better sleep.
Yoga Poses for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The Health Site lists several yoga poses that are good for easing the symptoms of RA. With a combination of gentle stretches and movements, you may begin to feel relief from your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms sooner than you think.
Try these 5 poses for RA relief:
- Wind releasing pose: This pose helps to improve blood circulation to the joints.
- Triangle pose: This pose involved twisting, which can help to alleviate pain while strengthening legs.
- Tree pose: Give your arms a good stretch and increase circulation around joints with this pose.
- Seated forward bend: On difficult days, this simple pose allows you to sit at you stretch out the spine and encourage blood flow to stiff joints.
- Cobra pose: Your joints will thank you as you work the fingers, neck, and elbows while strengthening the upper back.
For New Routines, Start Slow
If you are thinking of beginning a new exercise routine, such as yoga, for your RA symptoms, always check with your doctor first. Take it slow in the beginning, and avoid exercising any joints which are severely inflamed or injured.
As a decades-old practice, yoga has provided a variety of benefits to the countless number who practice it regularly. Seek out the instruction of a professional yoga instructor (look for a teacher at Yoga Alliance) and always stop right away if pain begins to increase. As you move into more challenging poses, modify as you need to and listen to your body; if it becomes too challenging, stop and try again another day.
Balanced Rock Bodyworks invites you to join us for a group yoga class. Check out our website for more information.