How Yoga Therapy Works With Arthritis
We will refer to the most common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis. To begin with, Yoga Therapy helps to minimise the erosion of cartilage that causes joint pain, creating greater ease of movement and decrease pain within joints that have already sustained damage. From a Yoga Therapy view, damage to cartilage can be related to how the body sits, stands and moves through space.
Misalignment of bones, dysfunctional movement patterns, lack of body awareness, and poor posture can all relate to wear and tear on the cartilage which Yoga Therapy can help correct.
Yoga Therapy is also suited to deal with stress which can be a factor in the worsening of symptoms and can teach better coping strategies with the pain that may not be eliminated entirely.
The painful rubbing of bone on bone that occurs when cartilage wears down is often the result of misalignment. Such misalignment’s can be the result of unconsciously holding in some muscles, the failure to engage other muscles, dysfunctional patterns of use, and bone structure, for example knock kneed.
With the appropriate knowledge and assessment of the individual an experienced yoga therapist can identify and help deal with misalignment’s reducing the amount of stress on the joints.
In therapeutic yoga with awareness you learn to actively engage the muscles that can help realign the bony parts of the joints.
Yoga Therapy is an effective mode for reducing and eliminating dysfunctional habits or behaviours, samskaras, which eventually manifest on the cartilage and then on the bones. As everything is connected a problem in the knee for example may be coming from the hips. Increasing the range of movement with a good asana practice can help you become aware of maladaptive patterns and begin to correct them.
Poor posture over time ultimately has its effect and is another samskara that can contribute also to the degeneration of joints in the lower back, neck and many other problems from the head to the toes.
Bringing awareness to your samskaras and beginning to correct them can literally change your life!