The Arthritis Foundation estimates that there are more than 1.3 million people in the US who suffer from RA.
This type of arthritis is marked by an inflammation found in the synovial lining in the joints and this leads directly to damage of the joints themselves, pain that is severely debilitating and chronic and also to disability and a possibility of deformity.
There is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis yet but there have been treatment guidelines that have been published by the ACR (American College of Rheumatology) that say that physical activity is an essential aspect of treating the disease in an effective manner.
Yoga is a very gentle activity that is physically beneficial and can be preformed safely by people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis or many other medical conditions.
Benefits of Doing Yoga
If you look at research that was funded by the Arthritis Foundation and subsequently published by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, you will find that early studies show promising signs of joint health improvement, improvement of physical function as well as an improved mental well-being in people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis who engage in yoga.
In the same vein, yoga has also been proven to have a positive impact on things like the quality of an RA patient’s life and also with their physical well-being.
People who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis may find that yoga is a form of exercise that is enjoyable enough to make them look forward to it.
There are also benefits such as a reduction in pain or disability caused stress and a general upswing in positive feelings.
There are a great many types of yoga which means that you and your doctor can choose which one will be best for you and your personal needs.
It is recommended that people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis start out with one of the more gentle forms and increase the intensity as the need arises.
A certain type of yoga called Iyengar uses props to execute certain poses. Things like a belt, a yoga block, a pillow and towels are the types of props that can assist you when you are in these certain poses.
These props are utilized in an effort to prevent any injuries from occurring. Most Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers are better able to do this type of yoga than the more intense forms such as Bikram and Ashtanga.
Restorative yoga is a yoga that has a therapeutic style and the goal is to relax into each pose. Props are extensively used in order to get you into poses that you can relax in for about 10 minutes each.
This type of calming and gentle yoga is one that many patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis might find very suitable for their personal needs.
Some of the poses that Rheumatoid Arthritis patients might find benefit from include forward fold, soide angle, cobra seated spinal twist and extended leg balance.
Differing poses that offer a gentle increase in a person’s range of motion in specific joints can also be very beneficial because of the fact that Rheumatoid Arthritis often results in a loss of movement in certain joints.
By sitting in an easy pose and then completing a series of shoulder, neck and wrist rotations and stretches, the joints will be moving gently without any sort of pressure being put on them.
Many times, people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis can have increased stress levels due directly to the severity of pain caused by the disease.
Relaxation and meditation is an integral part of any type of yoga and is one of the aspects of yoga that can be particularly beneficial to people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis because if the inherent reduction of stress and can bring them an improved quality of life.
One pose that is commonly used for meditation is the corpse pose. Using visualization techniques or mantras are also a common trait of meditation.
People with low back issues or neck issues may want to use props in achieving relaxation in this particular pose.
As with any sort of exercise, make sure that you talk to your physician before beginning any new regimen.
Also, listen to what your body is telling you. If you experience sudden or new pain then stop what you are doing immediately.
People suffering from this particular sort of arthritis need to make an effort to stay in tune with the needs of their bodies. The smallest thing can be one that has the largest effect.