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Yoga and Arthritis

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/2/2009

Finding ways to bend and twist your body might seem like a kind of cruel punishment for arthritis sufferers. However, recent studies have shown that yoga might be one source of instant arthritis relief for all types of arthritis victims.

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    No Current Cure for Arthritis

    The process of myth-telling has endured for so many years that there are more myths related to arthritis now than there ever were before. One of the most common myths is the assumption that arthritis only affects older people. Simply put, this just isn’t true. Anyone can be affected by arthritis at any point (including children). Another myth that seems to be quite popular these days is that prescription drugs can cure this illness – there is no current cure for arthritis.

    While there are certain treatments that can slow down this disease, there is no known cure for the disease to date. Many of the drugs that are prescribed to arthritis patients tend to come with a long list of side effects. In fact, many people that suffer from this disease find that prescription drugs tend to worsen the condition. Rather than deal with possible medication reactions, consider learning how to stretch, strengthen, and ease your swollen joints.

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    Yoga Poses for Arthritis Pain Releif

    You might be wondering how going through a series of cat-like poses can possibly help to heal those aching joints. Though it might sound Yoga strange, the truth is that yoga actually helps to strengthen the joints, which is an important part of dealing with arthritis. The stronger that your joints are, the less likely you are to develop stiff joints. You can think of yoga as a sort of lubricant for your joints – the more grease that you add to your joints, the better they will function as a result.

    So, where do you begin when it comes to selecting the right yoga poses? Start by looking for a certified yoga instructor in your area. Then, prior to the first class, speak with the instructor about your joint pain. Most likely, the instructor that you choose will take you through some basic poses that have been proven to help with arthritis. These poses often include the “easy pose;” leg raises; various shoulder movements; neck movements; ankle rotations; and wrist bending.

    Is it really necessary to attend a yoga class in order to help with your arthritis? While you can certainly go through various poses on your own, it is wise to seek the guidance of an instructor at least once. This way, you can be sure that the poses you are going through are done properly

    While yoga will not cure your arthritis, those that give this form of exercise a shot often find that their joints benefit greatly. Reduced inflammation, easier movements, and an overall better quality of life are just some of the things that yoga can do for you. The next time that you start to feel your joints flare up, try heading to the yoga mat instead of the medicine cabinet for some quick pain relief.

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    Photo Credit

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhoc/2665726862/