A 50-Year-Old Woman Is Experiencing Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause Yoga – The Antidote to Arthritis and a Key to Healthy Aging

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Yoga – The Antidote to Arthritis and a Key to Healthy Aging

Forty years ago, when I first became interested in yoga and therapeutic movement, I was helping an elderly woman who was limited by arthritis in a wheelchair. I’ve long since known how much yoga can restore physical health, and I’ve been helping people whose joint pain and stiffness prevented them from dressing, bathing, or eating independently. This helped me understand the excruciating pain arthritis can cause.

Back then, doctors advised people with painful and swollen joints not to move! The thinking was “if it hurts, don’t touch it”. We now know that inactivity is one of the worst reactions for people with arthritis.

As Loren Fishman, MD, points out in his book, arthritis yoga“Arthritis limits movement, yoga increases range of motion—the two are made for each other.”

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in this country, limiting daily activities for millions. Medications, surgery, and steroids can alleviate some of the discomfort, but study after study has shown that most types of arthritis are most beneficial with exercise, especially low-impact, flexibility-enhancing exercises such as yoga.

Osteoarthritis, a painful and often debilitating disease caused by decades of wear and tear in joints, is considered one of the side effects of longevity. By age 65, at least a third of us will show some signs of osteoarthritis on x-rays, the most common of a group of conditions collectively known as arthritis.

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, multiple forms of arthritis affect more than 70 million (or a third) of American adults.

Arthritis is so prevalent in our culture that most people consider the pain and discomfort it brings to be a normal part of aging. Arthritis makes normal activities increasingly painful and difficult and reduces or destroys quality of life.

Arthritis Overview

The word arthritis means “inflammation of the joints.” Modern medicine recognizes more than one hundred conditions that lead to structural degeneration of joints. What these diseases have in common is that they all affect joints — nearly 150 cleverly engineered structures located where two or more bones come together.

Joint problems associated with arthritis can include pain, stiffness, inflammation, and joint damage. Depending on the location of the joints involved, joint weakness, instability, and visible deformity may occur.

Arthritis is divided into two main types. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes joint and muscle stiffness, joint erosion and pain. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that eats away at the cartilage in your joints, causing bones to rub against each other. Osteoarthritis often occurs in people who are overweight or whose joints ache from overuse.

Although arthritis is common, be careful not to jump to conclusions that your joint pain must be caused by it. Overuse and injury can also lead to tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other fairly common conditions that are not related to arthritis.

Arthritis and Exercise

To stay healthy, muscles and joints must move and bear weight, or they lose strength. This weakness, combined with joint swelling, can make the joint unstable. Joints in this condition are prone to dislocation, increasing injury and pain. Therefore, regular, gentle exercise can help reduce pain and maintain mobility.

Physical activity promotes the health of many systems in the body. It increases circulation, which reduces swelling and facilitates the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. With immobilization, a cycle of deterioration begins.

Because exercise is essential to many physiological processes, without it, the overall health of people with arthritis often deteriorates. The normal function of the immune system decreases, infections and diseases occur, and the person often becomes depressed and depressed. This cycle is self-perpetuating.

When someone comes to me with arthritis, I teach them how to practice yoga safely with the support of yoga props. For those new to yoga, the term “yoga prop” simply refers to any object such as a wall, a sturdy table or chair, a folded blanket, a sturdy pillow, shoulder straps, or other items that help to practice yoga more safely ,Easier. Yoga props are especially helpful for older beginners who may have balance issues and are dealing with common health issues like arthritis and osteoporosis. In addition to common household items that can be used as yoga props, there are professional yoga props such as sturdy wooden bars called “yoga horses”, yoga wall ropes, yoga mats of various shapes and sizes, yoga straps, special yoga Chairs, blocks, sturdy yoga rugs and more refined props like yoga backbends bring new hope and confidence to those suffering from arthritis and other common health issues.

Doctors are increasingly recommending regular, gentle exercise to people with arthritis because it strengthens muscles and reduces joint stiffness. Yoga is an ideal form of exercise because of its fluid and adaptable movements. Yoga relaxes tight muscles from inactivity, stress, and tension. In yoga, we progress gradually, starting with simple stretching and strengthening poses, and only advancing to more difficult poses as we become stronger and more flexible.

If necessary, you can start with gentle movements while sitting on a chair or lying on the floor. You can gradually increase the weight-bearing standing position with the help of props such as walls, counters or tables, wall ropes, chairs, and blocks.

The Weighted Yoga Standing Pose is one of the key poses for safely increasing the range of motion of all joints and increasing strength and flexibility.

It is important to note that muscle weakness is considered a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Pay particular attention to weakness in the quadriceps and front thigh muscles: the weaker the quadriceps, the higher the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee. Yoga standing poses are valuable for strengthening the quadriceps without wearing down the hip and knee joints.

Practicing yoga can help improve your breathing throughout the day. Calm, slow, rhythmic breathing helps release physical and emotional tension by oxygenating the body and brain. Regular daily deep relaxation exercises restore every cell in your body.

I encourage people with arthritis to seek the help of an experienced teacher who can help you learn to distinguish good pain from bad pain and make yoga a part of your daily life.

The positive effects of yoga on mood and overall outlook are especially important for people with arthritis. Yoga classes provide positive support and the opportunity to connect with health-conscious individuals who have experienced the benefits of yoga. Numerous studies have highlighted the value of group support in dealing with health challenges such as arthritis.

With arthritis, as with any injury or illness, focus on listening to your body to avoid injury and determine which exercises will heal best. Take a class with a teacher who understands arthritis. If you’re new to yoga, I recommend taking some private lessons where possible, or start with a group class with individual guidance where you can practice at your own pace.

A Guide to Practicing Yoga in the Classroom and at Home

1. respect pain。 All students of yoga, especially those with arthritis, must understand the difference between the beneficial feeling of muscle stretching and the pain that signals harm. Learn to distinguish the normal discomfort of moving a stiff joint through range of motion from the pain caused by disruptive movement or excessive demands on the joint. Sudden or sharp pain is a warning. Continuing activities after such warnings may cause joint damage.

In general, if pain and discomfort persists more than two hours after a yoga class, have a knowledgeable teacher review your posture and help you modify it. Try moving slower, practicing more regularly, and experimenting with how long you hold a position. There’s no set answer to the perennial question, “How long should I hold this position?” Hold it long enough to make a healthy change, but not so long that your body stiffens from holding the pose for too long.

2. Work and rest。 BALANCING ACTIVITIES AND REST FOR YOGA AND OTHER EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES. Do not exercise to the point of fatigue. Stop before you burn out! Weak, tired muscles can lead to joint instability and injury. Balance your active yoga sessions with yoga’s deeply relaxing and restorative poses. Restorative poses are passive poses that help your internal healing process do its job. If you feel fatigued, start by practicing restorative poses. You’ll benefit more from active, more challenging poses if you’re well rested.

3. Practice mindfulness (notice how you feel) and breathe properly. Avoid mechanical repetitions and counting while exercising. Watch the flow of your breath and your body’s response to a particular pose or movement. If your lungs aren’t fully expanded, the muscles you’re working won’t get enough oxygen. Holding your breath while stretching inhibits relaxation. Smooth, peaceful, rhythmic breathing through the nose can reduce pain and tension and increase the feeling of deep relaxation after a yoga class. Learn to tune in to what your body is telling you.

4. Learn to use yoga props. People with arthritis may already be stiff when they start yoga. Using props helps improve blood circulation and breathing. By supporting the body in a yoga pose, the prop allows the muscles to stretch in a passive, non-effortless way. Props help conserve energy and allow people to practice more strenuous poses without injury or excessive exertion.

Yoga for Arthritis Hips and Knees

The areas most commonly affected by arthritis are the hips, knees, and hands. With less movement, the muscles and soft tissues around the hip shorten causing additional wear on sliding surfaces. If a person becomes sedentary in an effort to minimize pain, bones and cartilage are less stimulated by weight bearing. Bone spurs may even develop to further restrict movement.

Lack of exercise can also weaken the thigh and calf muscles. Their strength provides stability and support to the knee. When the soft tissues of the joint swell, this causes compression and further reduces the space in the joint.

Standing position is essential for stretching and strengthening the support of the hips, hips and thighs. Moving the femoral head in the hip socket helps distribute the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint and all points of contact.

The same standing posture recommended for the hip is also important for knee rehabilitation. They create more space in the knee joint for synovial fluid to circulate and strengthen the thigh and calf muscles for better support.

Sitting on the floor every day!

I encourage all of my students, especially those with knee osteoarthritis, to sit on the floor every day in various cross-legged and other bent-knee positions as part of their daily routine. This helps ensure that you don’t lose your ability to sit comfortably on the floor. Sitting with your legs relaxed and crossed is a simple, natural posture that helps eliminate stiffness in your hips and knees. To help you sit comfortably on the floor and keep your back straight, sit on one or more folded blankets, firm cushions, a large dictionary, or other height. Avoiding sitting on the floor will only stiffen your hips and knees over time.

hint: If your knees are painful, try adding height below your hips, bringing your pelvis higher than your knees, and placing a folded blanket or yoga mat under your knees. A knowledgeable yoga teacher can help you adjust props to make sitting on the floor easy and comfortable. Gradually increase the amount of time you sit, and make sure to cross your legs in the opposite direction (opposite leg in front).

warn: Don’t strain your knees by trying to prematurely sit in a more advanced bent-knee position, such as the classic lotus. Forcing your body into any position can result in serious injury. Stop if you feel pain and consult a knowledgeable teacher.

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