Consultant Psychologist Psychotherapist
Yoga Therapist & Expert in Wellness Mgt.
+91 93398 56095 / 96748 21025 ramanathsmailbox@rediffmail.com
Website Website Address: www.corporatewellness.co.in
Yoga therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis is most common of all disabling diseases affecting one out of 10 people. It is a crippling degenerative process that leads to irreversible destructive disorder. There is an inflammation of joints, pain, stiffness, redness, heat and loss of function in one / or more joints. Most affected joints are, the weight bearing joints of spine, hips, knees, ankles and fingers. Most common forms are,

1. Osteo-Arthritis
2. Gouty Arthritis
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
4. Acute Rheumatic Arthritis.

1) Osteo-Arthritis

OsteoarthritisThis is due to chronic degenerative condition of bones, commonly seen in middle and old age. It is related with the degeneration of articular cartilage of the weight bearing joints or formation of osteophytes.


Overweight due to wrong diet, lack of exercise, calcium deficiency, imbalance in the parathyroid function, mental and emotional stress, and sedentary life style and wear and tear of the joint tissue from early injury to joint or osteophytes formation are the major causes.


There is a stiffness, pain and loss of flexibility of the joint.

2) Gouty Arthritis

Gouty ArthritisThis chronic or acute form of arthritis is associated with gout due to metabolic disorder.
Joint of big toe is the most susceptible part. In chronic cases it damages the kidneys.


Excessive uric acid accumulated in the blood and deposits of urates of sodium around the joints. Excessive consumption of red meat and coffee.

Signs and Symptoms

Fever, headache, tenderness, swelling and formation of nodes on the joints. Patient will complain restricted and painful movements. Skin becomes tense, reddish and warm. Pain increases at night.

3) Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid ArthritisThis is severe, crippling and rapidly progressive form of joint degeneration often found in young and middle aged people. It is found more in women than men. Inflammatory changes bring about the structural deformities as a result of autoimmune reaction.


Specific cause is not known. Severe emotional shock and stress may trigger it. Acute infection. Above-mentioned changes in joints are due to an antigen - antibody reaction of own body tissue.

Signs and Symptoms

Swelling and pain give rise to restriction of joint movement. Pain becomes localized with fever and malaise, 'morning stiffness', pain and tenderness and swelling of the entire joint. If not properly attended, it leads to destruction of joint tissue and deformities of joints. Psychological disturbances are found to aggravate the disorder.

Typical personality changes

These chronic arthritic changes give rise to depression and the patient becomes nervous, tense, worried, and moody. Suppression of anger and other emotions aggravate symptoms further.

4) Acute Rheumatic Arthritis

Acute Rheumatic ArthritisUsually it occurs in low-income group due to unsuitable living environment such as damp and wet walls and floor of the house. Major joints of the body are affected.


Viral infections like cold and flu that is superimposed by streptococcal infection.

Signs and Symptoms

Stiffness and pain in the body parts especially in joints. Symptoms subside when the toxins are removed from the body or the infection is overcome. Duration of symptoms is generally short. This has a strong susceptibility of involving the heart valves. It is said about this condition 'it leaks the joint and bites the heart'.

Typical personality changes

These chronic arthritic changes give rise to depression and the patient becomes nervous, tense, worried, and moody. Suppression of anger and other emotions aggravate symptoms further.


Yoga practices are to be practiced by the individual, only when the acute condition subsides. Sufficient bed rest, suitable medicines, corrections in food habits and lifestyle are essential for getting optimum results.

Following yoga practices are recommended

i) Asanas

yoga practicesAsanas would require the modification to suit the flexibility and the overall physical condition of the patient. Depending on the joints involved the asanas should be selected from the following.
Pavanmuktasana, Ardha-halasana, Setubandh-asana, Marjar-asana, Akarna Dhanurasana, Chakrasana (Sideward bending), Utkatasana, Tadasana, Vakrasana.

ii) Shuddhikriyas

Laghu / Purna Shankha-prakshalana, Kunjal/Vaman, Neti, Kapalabhati.

iii) Pranayama

Anuloma-viloma, Bhastrika, Shitali

iv) Om Recitation

v) Diet

Take a simple and light diet. Avoid sour fruits, curd, pickles, spices, milk and dairy products. Eat fresh fruits and boiled, as well as, sprouted pulses like moong. Autourine therapy is also recommended.

• Points to be noted

(1) Consult your doctor if the vague, shifting pain persists for more than 8 days.
(2) If R.A. factor test of the blood is positive, control the diet and take regular exercises.
(3) Accept Yoga as a life style with regularity and patience and not as a temporary relief from the present symptoms.
(4) In acute phase, when severe pain is experienced, take necessary medicines and proper rest. After acute phase is over, start practicing asanas under the proper guidance.
(5) Do not suppress the pain with painkillers.

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