Yoga May Improve Arthritis Symptoms

People suffering from arthritis may find relief through yoga, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The study, published in the _Journal of Rheumatolog_y, may be the largest randomized trial studying the effect of yoga on physical and psychological health and quality of life with people living with arthritis.

Arthritis currently affects 20 percent of adults and without proper management affects their mobility and their overall quality of life. While no cure exists for the disease, there are several management techniques, and this study suggests that yoga may be among those at the top of the list.

Researchers recruited 75 people with either knee osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and randomly assigned them to either a wait list or eight weeks of yoga classes, twice a week, with a weekly practice session at home. They were also given physical and mental assessments before and after the yoga session by researchers who did not know which group the participants had been assigned to.

They found that people who participated in yoga had a 20 percent improvement in pain, energy levels, overall mood and physical function. These improvements were apparent even after nine months.

The study utilized specialized yoga therapists to accommodate the participants. The researchers suggested that patients talk with their doctors before starting a yoga program, particularly about if they need to modify poses based on their condition. They also could benefit from finding an instructor willing to work with them on an individual basis.

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Sourced from: ScienceDaily, Yoga improves arthritis symptoms, mood, study finds