Yoga can help ease arthritis pain, improve mood

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Sep 17, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

People who suffer from symptoms of arthritis can benefit from doing yoga three times a week.

A new research published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that yoga can help ease arthritis pain and help improve the mood.

For the study, the researchers gathered 75 sedentary adults with rheumatoid arthritis or knee osteoarthritis and have them go through eight weeks of hatha yoga. They were divided into different groups, with one group practising yoga three times per week for an hour, another in home-based session and or not at all.

Before prescribing yoga to the participants, the researchers took measures to ensure that yoga can be safe and effective for people with arthritis.

"Our first step was to ensure that yoga was reasonable and safe option for people with arthritis. Our instructors were experienced yoga therapists with additional training to modify poses to accommodate individual abilities," said co-author Dr. Clifton Bingham of Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in a press release.

After the study period, the researchers found that the participants who were practicing yoga felt 20 percent pain improvement, have higher energy levels and have improved moods. According to Medical News Today, they also experienced 20 percent improved physical function that they can better perform daily tasks at work or at home. The yoga practitioners still even felt the improvements 9 months later.

"There's a real surge of interest in yoga as a complementary therapy, with one in 10 people in the US now practicing yoga to improve their health and fitness," said co-author Susan Bartlett of Johns Hopkins and McGill University, in a press release. "Yoga may be especially well suited to people with arthritis because it combines physical activity with potent stress management and relaxation techniques, and focuses on respecting limitations that can change from day to day."

According to Newsmax, there are more than 52 million Americans that are affected by arthritis. There is currently no cure for this painful condition and physical activity is considered to be one of the best ways to ease its symptoms. In the report by Medical News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 75 minutes of weekly intense aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of weekly moderate aerobic exercise to people who suffer from arthritis.

Arthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints. It is characterized by joint inflammation, swelling and pain, stiffness and a decreased range of motion in the affected parts of the body. According to, there are more than 100 types if arthritis with osteoarthritis as the most common.

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