What is Yoga
Yoga, a practice of exercises, breathing techniques, and meditation started in India long ago somewhere in 3300-1500 BCE, Yoga boosts physical and mental health. But does yoga really work to improve physical arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness, let us dive in.
What is Arthritis
Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis”is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. People of all ages, sexes, and races can suffer from arthritis, Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
“Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased the range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain,”
Any form of arthritis (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid, Psoriatic ) can affect the knee, and cause pain and swelling. Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. It ( Knee osteoarthritis) occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time. Gradual onset of knee pain, stiffness and swelling are typical symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
Yoga for Knee pain
First cum First, Overweight does not go well with Knee pain. When standing, walking, knees have to bear the weight of the body. Shed off the extra weight to lessen the knee pain. Avoid stairs as climbing puts weight almost two to three times on knees. If very necessary hold the railings.
A regular program of walking can reduce stiffness and inflammation and it won’t make most chronic knee conditions worse. Walking is the preferred exercise by people with arthritis, and can help improve arthritis. Walking with bad knees is a challenge but it reduces symptoms and increases flexibility. This is good in mild to moderate pain. Consult a doctor in extreme case.
Another effective practice is to walk backward so as to strengthen the knee muscles. This walk backward also called retro walk helps to prevent the knee problem. 10-15 minutes retro walk is enough. Walking backward also helps prevent back pain; it burns calories and fats, and it also improves your balance. Backward walking, also known as retro walking, is said to have originated in ancient China, where it was practiced for good health.
Squatting is a posture where the weight of the body is on the feet (as with standing) but the knees and hips are bent. Avoid Squatting when having Knee pain.
Quadriceps Exercises- Lie straight, make a towel roll and put it under the knee, press the keen against the role, hold it for 20 secs. Repeat 20 times twice a day. This will help relieve some pain.
Core Strengthening Exercise- Straight Leg Raised With Toes Turned Outward, repeat 10 times, twice a day.
From a seated position, stand and sit repeatedly for one minute, using slow, controlled movements and without using the hands for support.
Reducing strain on the knee include avoiding chairs that are low to the ground or couches in which the sitter “sinks.”
Long periods without moving should be avoided. In osteoarthritis, for example, prolonged sitting can produce a stiff, painful joint.
The American Massage Therapy Association
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recommend the following simple self-massage.
Press four fingers into the knee tissue and move up and down five times. Repeat all around the knee.
Loosely closing the hands into fists, tap the upper, lower, and middle thigh 10 times with both hands. Repeat three times.
Place the palm of the hand on top of the thigh, glide it down the thigh, over the knee and back up the outer thigh repeating 10 times.
yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility and functions and is definitely one option for people with arthritis. Some of the Yoga exercises which helps to relieve arthritis knee pain are SuryaNamaskar or Sun Salutation and Child Pose which I explained in my blog Yoga for seniors.
Mountain Pose-This Pose is an excellent posture for knee pain relief. Stand with big toes touching and heels together. Engage your lower abdominals and stretch your fingertips. Spread toes and press them into the floor evenly and take a deep breath.