Finally science is starting to back up what we yogis already know: yoga is awesome and can help a myriad of ills. A new study just released from Johns Hopkins found that yoga can help ease the pain of arthritis.
Just one more reason to get on your mat!
Managing Arthritis Pain
One in five Americans suffer from some kind of arthritis, with the two most common being osteoarthritis, or arthritis in your joints, and rheumatoid arthritis. Currently there is no cure, just different ways of managing the pain.
Arthritis can occur through a few different ways. The most common kind is osteoarthritis, which comes about either through trauma to the joints, or through wear and tear over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, the other most common kind, happens when the body's immune system attacks it's own body tissues.
Some of the ways that are recommended to help alleviate arthritis pain are walking, stretching, and generally staying active. Now you can add yoga to the list.
The study from Johns Hopkins studied both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, by separating study participants into two separate, random groupings. The first group didn't do any yoga, and the second did yoga three times a week: two hour-long classes with a group, and one at home.
After eight weeks, participants in both groups reported back to the researchers, and participants in the yoga group said that they felt not only a decrease in pain, but more ease of movement and peace of mind.
But we yogis already knew some of that, didn't we?
Yoga and Arthritis
Susan J. Bartlett, one of the authors of the study, said, "Yoga may be especially well suited to people with arthritis because it combines physical activity with potent stress management and relaxation techniques, and focuses on respecting limitations that can change from day to day."
This is good news for people with arthritis, as yoga, along with continuing to take their normal pain medication, could really improve quality of life. And there's nothing like actually having a doctor's note to do yoga.
Of course, if you have arthritis and are interested in starting yoga, please talk to your doctor before starting. And when you finally do get to class, please tell your teacher before class starts that you have arthritis, so they can help you modify the poses in the best way for you.