Yoga & Osteoarthritis
By Dr. Kyla Nelson, DC & Acupuncture Provider
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition that affects joints, most commonly the lower back, neck, hips, knees and fingers. OA involves the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage and bone. Severity can differ from mild, moderate or severe, depending on a number of factors including a persons age, gender, weight and lifestyle.
Symptoms can involve the following:
- Decreased range of motion and flexibility
- Decreased functional capabilities
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
Most people will experience degeneration at some point in their lives, to some degree, therefore the main treatment is prevention.
Yoga is a popular, non-pharmacological form of exercise and therapy that affects both physical and psychosocial aspects of an individual’s health. It’s a great option for any age, however recent research has shown that it has particularly good benefits for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Benefits of yoga include:
- Decreased chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Improved range of motion and flexibility
- Improved balance and stability
- Improved mental health (reduction in depressive symptoms and anxiety)
- Poses can easily be modified according to your limitations and injuries – allowing you to have a safe but effective work out
Dr. Kyla Nelson is currently a licensed chiropractor and acupuncture provider at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. If you have any further questions on how yoga can help with arthritic changes please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at [email protected] or 905-853-7900.
Ross, Alyson, et al. “National survey of yoga practitioners: mental and physical health benefits.” Complementary therapies in medicine 21.4 (2013): 313-323.
Ruth McCaffrey, D. N. P. “Chair yoga: benefits for community-dwelling older adults with osteoarthritis.” Journal of gerontological nursing 38.5 (2012): 12.
Siddarth, Divya, Prabha Siddarth, and Helen Lavretsky. “An Observational Study of the Health Benefits of Yoga or Tai Chi compared to Aerobic Exercise in Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Older Adults.” The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 22.3 (2014): 272.