3 Yoga Poses to Help Alleviate RA Pain

3 Yoga Poses to Help Alleviate RA Pain

By Rheumatoid Connect StaffA Published at November 23, 2015 Views 3,334

Many people believe that physical activity worsens arthritis symptoms. But according to Everyday Health, some types of exercise—like yoga—can relieve joint pain and strengthen muscles.

Even if you’ve never tried it before, yoga can be a safe and proactive way to get your daily exercise. It may also help you feel in control of your physical and mental health.

Here are three yoga poses that may help alleviate RA pain:

1. Cobra

This pose can strengthen your upper back muscles, triceps, and hands. It can also warm up and stretch out your hips and torso. To perform cobra, lie face down on a mat or soft surface with your toes flat and forehead resting on the ground, hands underneath your shoulders and elbows close to the body. Slowly straighten your arms, lift your chest toward the ceiling and push your upper body and thighs off the floor. Hold this for 15 seconds, then lower yourself slowly back to the ground. Repeat as many times as is comfortable for you. Focus on your breathing, inhaling on the way up and exhaling on the way down. Note: find a backbend height that is comfortable for your body for the ultimate stretch.

2. Cat-Cow

This is a combination of two poses to create one flow that warms up the whole body. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart. Inhale as you drop your belly down to the mat, making a curve in your spine. Lift your chin and gaze to the ceiling. Draw your shoulders away from your ears. Exhale into cat pose by drawing your belly to your spine and rounding your back to the ceiling. The crown of your head should be facing toward the floor, but don't put your chin into your chest. Repeat. The gentle flow of cat-cow pose can help align your spine, helping ease or potentially prevent back pain.

3. Cobbler

The cobbler's pose relieves tension in the groin and hips. To perform this yoga move, sit up straight on a mat or soft surface. Bring the soles of your feet together as your knees open outward, hands grasping onto your feet. Keep your chest and chin up and slowly bend forward from the hips. For a more intense stretch, push your elbows into your thighs. This pose is gentle enough for people with RA, and it can be beneficial for people who experience tightness in their hips or inner thighs.

If you have any specific joint limitations or restrictions, talk with your doctor before beginning any yoga practice. In your poses, if you experience RA flares or pain, adapt your postures for comfort. You can try adding a pillow or chair to provide some additional support.

If you keep up with your yoga practice, it can help alleviate pain and increase muscle strength. The stronger your muscles are, the more your joints are supported, making daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

Do you practice yoga? If so, what are your favorite poses? Share with us in the comments below.

For more on alleviating arthritis pain:

Medications to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Ease Symptoms
A Cheat Sheet for Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares

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