As we age our joints can naturally wear, a process called Osteoarthritis. We may also experience inflammatory conditions in our joints, Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although very different in cause, both conditions cause pain and discomfort.
Additionally, joints can become injured in accidents, causing accelerated wear and damage to our joints, again a cause of pain.
So, can Yoga help? Yes, is the simple answer, although the more nuanced answer is Yes, with care. There are various styles of Yoga, and faster paced and stronger Yoga styles may well exacerbate joint problems. So, a slower style may be best, with a teacher who has time to help you get comfortably into postures. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t stress your joints just a little in your Yoga practice, as a little bit of stress can help with healing and strengthening – the trick is not too much, not too little.
Another area where Yoga can help is in managing pain when things are flared up – pain is best considered on a so-called Biopsychosocial basis and working with our Nervous System can help us reframe and tolerate our experience of pain.
Sometimes our joints deteriorate to the point where we need surgery, and maybe a joint replacement – hips and knees are common for this – but many other joints as well. After a joint replacement people are quite often very cautious about movement and exercise, and Yoga, with the attention of an experienced teacher, can be very helpful in building up strength and confidence post-surgery, and done with care is perfectly safe.
A few years ago, I injured my knee in an accident, which led to having to have several surgeries including a knee replacement – so I have lived some of the experiences that joint problems bring.
You can learn more about my Yoga Classes at www.yinspire.co.uk, where you can book a class and find out more about my studio between Brading and Ryde, Isle of Wight.
I can also work on one with people as a Yoga Therapist and this can be useful if you are struggling with joint problems – learn more on my Yoga Therapy website, www.yinspire.co.uk/yoga-therapy