The Role of Yoga in Managing Inflammatory Arthritis

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Introduction

Lauren Freid, MD, is a board-certified rheumatologist at UCLA Health. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory arthritis, a group of chronic conditions characterized by joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Dr. Freid is a strong advocate for the use of yoga as a complementary therapy for inflammatory arthritis. She has conducted extensive research on the benefits of yoga for this condition and has developed a unique yoga program specifically designed for people with inflammatory arthritis.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Improved physical function
  • Reduced pain and inflammation
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

How Yoga Works

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. It has been shown to have a number of benefits for people with inflammatory arthritis, including:

  • Improving physical function
  • Yoga poses can help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength. This can make it easier to perform everyday activities, such as getting dressed, cooking, and cleaning.

  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Yoga has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in people with inflammatory arthritis. This is likely due to the fact that yoga helps to improve circulation and reduce stress, both of which can contribute to pain and inflammation.

  • Increasing flexibility and range of motion
  • Yoga poses can help to increase flexibility and range of motion in the joints. This can help to reduce pain and stiffness, and make it easier to perform everyday activities.

  • Improving sleep quality
  • Yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality in people with inflammatory arthritis. This is likely due to the fact that yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can interfere with sleep.

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in people with inflammatory arthritis. This is likely due to the fact that yoga helps to promote relaxation and mindfulness.

Who Can Benefit from Yoga

Yoga is safe and effective for most people with inflammatory arthritis. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting a yoga program. Certain poses may be too difficult or painful for some people with inflammatory arthritis.

Getting Started

If you are interested in trying yoga for inflammatory arthritis, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your practice.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain.
  • Use props, such as blocks or straps, to help you with poses.
  • Find a qualified yoga instructor who has experience working with people with inflammatory arthritis.

Conclusion

Yoga is a safe and effective complementary therapy for inflammatory arthritis. It can help to improve physical function, reduce pain and inflammation, increase flexibility and range of motion, improve sleep quality, and reduce stress and anxiety. If you are interested in trying yoga for inflammatory arthritis, talk to your doctor and find a qualified yoga instructor who has experience working with people with this condition.

Credit

This article is written by Dr. Lauren Freid, a board-certified rheumatologist at UCLA Health. She is a strong advocate for the use of yoga as a complementary therapy for inflammatory arthritis. She has conducted extensive research on the benefits of yoga for this condition and has developed a unique yoga program specifically designed for people with inflammatory arthritis.

**Rights:** All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the author.

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