Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yoga and Arthritis -- Keep Moving Your Body

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Yoga can relieve arthritis pain by creating more mobility and flexibility in the joints, while stretching and strengthening the muscles around the affected joints. 

A problem with arthritis pain is that the person suffering the pain may not feel up to doing much of any physical activity, because it hurts to move.

But sedentary people suffer more from arthritis pain than physically active.   When joints and muscles aren't used, they become weaker and less stable, with more chance of injury.  More degeneration and pain of the joints occur.

Regular gentle movement helps to regain some mobility in the joints, and it reduces pain.  With regular exercise, blood circulation if better, which helps to reduce swelling and pain.

Read Yoga for Arthritis for an explanation of the causes of arthritis and how yoga can help to alleviate arthritis symptoms.   This article also includes a list of resources for further reading, and suggestions for finding a yoga class that is appropriate for the fitness level of the arthritis sufferer. 

If you have arthritis and have continued to be physically active,  a regular beginning level yoga class may work out well for you.   If you've been sedentary, or if you're older or have greater mobility issues, a "Gentle Yoga" class or something similar will probably be more appropriate.

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