Home
My Account
About Us
Forum
Contact us
الواجهة العربية
epharmaweb.com
Medical News Medical News
Aricles Articles
Events Events
Guidelines Guidelines
Videos Library Videos Library
Diseases Diseases
Follow us : facebook twitter Digg Linkedin Boxiz
Newsletter

Please select the categories you are intersted in:
News Articles Guidelines Events Videos Journals' abstracts

Latest Subscribers
Advanced Search »



Yoga for Arthritic Patients


Yoga for Arthritic Patients

Recently, there has been a great deal of attention focused on holistic or mind-body integrating movement practices with origins in eastern philosophy and culture. Yoga, t'ai chi, qi gong, and various dance forms have become for many adults safe and effective ways to increase physical activity.

Having arthritis doesn't mean that a person can't try these alternatives to traditional exercise. Though yoga might make many people think about pretzel-like poses that require considerable strength and balance, but as a matter of fact, one can learn simple, gentle movements that gradually build strength, balance, and flexibility in beginner yoga classes, which may be of special benefit for people with arthritis. We will demystify yoga for arthritis patients and their providers in this article.

 

YOGA:

The origin of yoga is in ancient India, and it is a set of theories and practices. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning "to yoke" or "to unite". Fostering a greater feeling connection between the individual and his/her surroundings, and focusing on unifying the mind, body, and spirit are the things that yoga focuses on. With the main goal of helping individuals to realize true happiness, freedom, or enlightenment, yoga has spiritual roots. Additionally, improving physical health and enhancing mental well-being and emotional balance are some of the secondary goals of yoga.

 

Yoga postures are increasingly practiced devoid of their original spiritual context, and solely for physical health benefits, as interest in yoga has increased in western countries over the last few decades. Sometimes, this physical practice of yoga, which is often called Hatha Yoga, overlaps or includes references to the other aspects of yoga. A popular misconception is that yoga focuses on increasing flexibility. Practicing Hatha Yoga also emphasizes on postural alignment, strength, balance and endurance.

 

The benefits of yoga:

In major medical journals, more than 75 scientific trials have been published on yoga, demonstrating that yoga is an effective and safe way to increase physical activity, besides the important psychological benefits that it provides due to its meditative nature. Yoga can promote balance, improve flexibility, increase muscle strength, and enhance respiratory endurance, just like the case with other forms of exercise. Increased energy and fewer bodily aches and pains are associated with yoga. As for psychology, yoga is associated with fewer somatic complaints and negative feelings, i.e. reduced anxiety, aggressiveness, and excitability. Practicing yoga also results in increased mental energy and positive feelings, like enthusiasm and alertness. So a wide range of physical and psychological benefits, which may be especially helpful for people living with a chronic illness, are associated with yoga.

 

According to treatment guidelines published by the American College of Rheumatology, physical activity is an essential part of the effective treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Exercise is safe and does not exacerbate pain or worsen disease in people with arthritis. But since those who do not exercise often suffer more joint discomfort than those who do, exercise may play a key role in promoting joint health, and the health and psychological benefits of exercise have become widely recognized. For people with arthritis, who often have decreased muscle strength, physical energy, and endurance, partly because of their arthritis and their tendency to be sedentary, regular physical activity is especially important. A downward spiral where pain increases may begin with being sedentary, which leads to more inactivity, causing in turn greater pain and disability. Enhanced immune functioning and the psychological benefits of exercise, such as improved coping, fewer depressive symptoms, and stress reduction, contribute to greater overall health as well.

 

Are there any scientific studies of yoga conducted on arthritis patients?

Up till now, only a handful of scientific studies have been conducted on people with OA and RA, even though there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of yoga. With some improvement in joint health, mental/emotional well-being, and physical functioning, these early studies have shown promising results. Yoga has an important positive effect on quality of life, which could be its most important benefit. Exercise enjoyment is an important predictor of adherence, and people with arthritis may enjoy yoga more than traditional forms of exercise; this is particularly important as a predictor of adherence, as 50% of sedentary people will drop out of exercise within 6 months.

 

A person may practice yoga as a meaningful and enjoyable alternative to traditional forms of exercise, like aquatic exercise or aerobics, besides the important health benefits that it provides. Yoga can play an important role in increasing positive feelings and wellbeing, and reducing stress and frustration that results from pain and disability. Despite the fact that drug treatments for OA and RA have improved markedly in the last few years, but arthritis still can't be cured, so even the best medications and medical care can be only of little help. The patients need additional activities to reduce pain, disability, and to control the overall impact arthritis may have on their lives; consequently, when combining yoga with a program of good medical care, it can provide important additional physical and psychological health benefits for arthritis patients, as suggested in some evidence.

 

The best way to try yoga:

It's important to take proper precautions even though yoga can be a safe and effective form of physical activity. You should ask your doctor specifically if there should be any limitations or restrictions you should observe, and you can ask for specific recommendations in writing and give this to the yoga instructor. Generally, a beginner class led by a qualified teacher who can guide you in the safe and healthy execution of modified poses is the best introduction to yoga.

 

COMPONENTS OF A YOGA CLASS:

 

Asanas:

These are a series of poses designed to bring about greater health and well-being. They are combined in a predictable sequence that addresses flexibility, strength, and balance of the whole body. Depending on the experience on the participant, characteristics of the pose and the style of yoga being practiced, poses are held for variable lengths. To account for the student's level of experience and physical condition, most poses can be easily modified. In order to help students adjust challenging poses, some teachers utilize props such as blankets, blocks, or straps. Asanas have evolved as a physical practice and are considered by many to be a moving meditation themselves, while they were originally created to prepare the body for sitting still in meditation. For people with arthritis, asanas are the yoga practices that require the most guidance and special attention. You and the instructor can arrive at an appropriate modification if something seems too challenging or causes discomfort.

 

Pranyama:

When practicing yoga, movement should be connected with breath, which is an important aspect of many yoga classes, so this means that you have to move one direction on an inhale and the opposite direction on an exhale in some poses. Sometimes students are instructed to hold a pose for a particular number of breaths. There are another set of breathing practices to invigorate or calm the body and mind, which are independent of the asanas; these should only be practiced with a qualified instructor.

 

In general, those with asthma or COPD can practice the breathing techniques taught in beginner yoga classes, as they are safe for anyone, as long as these patients feel comfortable. You have to tell your yoga instructor about any concerns you might have, and you may want to talk to your doctor about the safety of advanced breathing practices if you have a lung condition.

 

Deep Relaxation:

Most teachers incorporate some type of relaxation for somewhere between 1 and 15 minutes at the end of the class, and it is usually done in Savasana or Corpse Pose, which is lying on the back with closed eyes. Absorbing the stress and tension-reducing benefits of the asanas, so that a sense of calm and ease will carry over from the practice after the class has ended, is the purpose of this relaxation. The original purpose of Hatha practice is relaxing the body so that it can remain completely quiet for a more meaningful meditation. Deep relaxation is often the most challenging part of the class for the restless people, although it is considered a reward at the end of class in some yoga classes.

 

Deep relaxation generally requires no modification, and it is beneficial for all people. However, the yoga instructor can suggest alternate poses for relaxation if you are pregnant, or if lying on your back for prolonged periods is painful.

 

Meditation:

Before or after the asana practice, some classes include brief periods of seated meditation, during which some instructors give guidance on how to approach meditation. Relieving the mind of the unnecessary clutter of trivial thoughts that stream in and out during the day, it is a time to quiet and focus. This state of the mind can simply provide relief from the day's stresses, in addition to the saying that it allows greater spiritual awakening. An idea or affirmation, a personal prayer, an image, the breath, or a sound can be the focus of meditation. For people with arthritis, modification to the traditional cross-legged seating pose is an option. Props such as a chair or a block may be helpful, and other seated positions can also be used.

 

Chanting:

Sound vibrations may cause an avalanche, or break glass, as they are very powerful. Some studies were recently conducted on the healing properties involved with making various sounds. In addition to healing, chants have historically served the purpose of fostering an individual sense of spirituality, or unifying communities. Chanting is considered in some more traditional styles of yoga classes to be an essential aspect of Hatha practice, even though not all yoga classes incorporate chanting. Words that have no translation, but are said to reflect natural universal vibrations (Om), or words for peace (Shanti) are incorporated in most chants in yoga class, and it is perfectly acceptable just to listen if you don't feel like joining in with the chant. It is worthwhile mentioning that there is no judgment of quality in chant, which makes it different from singing, and even though it is often beautiful and moving, but it's still a sound, not a song that is being created. In the case of people with arthritis, no modifications are required.

 

PRACTICING YOGA FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE RELATIVELY SEDENTARY AND INFLEXIBLE:

You can practice yoga even if you are relatively sedentary and inflexible. Actually, yoga increases balance, strength, and flexibility; it might be especially beneficial for people with poor flexibility or limited range of motion due to arthritis or otherwise and there are some modifications even if you are unable to kneel or have difficulty getting up and down. As for people in a seated position, there are some "chair yoga" classes that are taught entirely in a seated position. Overcoming some judgments and accepting where you are is an important part of yoga, even though it may feel a bit disheartening at first when challenges arise.

 

Always honoring what will allow you to benefit most from the practice is the core concept of yoga. Recognizing your current limitations, listening to your body and approaching your yoga practice from there are some of the things that your yoga teacher will emphasize. Aside from ensuring safe anatomical alignment, the focus should not be on how the pose looks, and yoga is not competitive, but rather, it is about experiencing a connection of the body and mind through the breath. Some poses should only be attempted by very experienced yogis and are not for beginners or people with activity limitations, because these poses require a great deal of balance, strength, and flexibility. Students can work within their levels of comfort because a good yoga teacher can provide alternatives and modifications to all activities.

 

THE POSES THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED BY PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIS:

For people with arthritis, and others, the general rule is that they should stop practicing when it hurts. We can't say "no pain, no gain" about yoga, especially if one has activity limitations. When people with arthritis of the hip practice yoga, they should be cautious when doing "hip openers" or poses with extreme external rotation of the hips. Arthritis patients should keep backbends relatively small, and they should make sure not to hyper-extend their neck, keeping the head in line with the rest of the spine. Although sometimes the effects are not felt until the next day, but you will generally notice pain if you are going too far with the pose. You must be gentle with your practice, particularly in the beginning. You can decide to gradually increase the intensity of the poses if you do not experience any pain after a few days. People who have malaligned or lax knees might not be recommended in some indications to practice strength training targeted at the quadriceps muscles. The knee may be stabilized with the help of interventions that balance opposite muscle groups and exercises that improve muscle awareness; like yoga. Being cautious and paying attention to your body is important in any condition. If you experience any pain or difficulty resulting from yoga practice, you must consult your doctor and instructor.

 

Practicing yoga at home:

You may want to supplement classes with home practice as you become more confident and experienced, but this is not recommended for those who are completely new to yoga.

------------------------------------------------------
Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-khashroum
Edited By: Miss Araz Kahvedjian




Source :

Miscellaneous sources






Other Comments

Add a comment

You must sign in to use this servcie

Username:
Password:


facebook comments

Forgot your password


sign up

Consultants Corner

Dr . Dirar Abboud

Dr . Dirar Abboud Hepatologist – Gastroenterologist

Dr. Hani Najjar

Dr. Hani Najjar Pediatrics, Neurology

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy Pediatrician

Dr. Faisal Dibsi

Dr. Faisal Dibsi Specialist of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Samir Moussa M.D.

Samir Moussa M.D. ENT Specialist

Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed

Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed Consultant Ophthalmologist

Dr. Tahsin Martini

Dr. Tahsin Martini Degree status: M.D. in Ophthalmology

Dr. Talal Sabouni

Dr. Talal Sabouni UROLOGY AND KIDNEY TRANSPLANT
Poll

Which of the following you are mostly interested in?

Cancer Research
Mental Health
Heart Disease & Diabetes
Sexual Health
Obesity and Healthy Diets
Mother & Child Health

Disclaimer : This site does not endorse or recommend any medical treatment, pharmaceuticals or brand names. More Details