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Yoga for Joint Pain

Introduction
Joints usually serve you effortlessly they glide like the parts of a miraculous machine through all the movements of your day. Then, one of these vital parts starts to hurt. What's going on? The pain that appears in different joints viz. hip joint, knee joint, neck joint, shoulder joint, wrist joint, ankle joint, back joint, elbow joint, foot joint and hand joint; that exactly is considered as joint pain.

Joint pain affects most of us. Our joints ache excruciatingly either due to inflammation or as a result of constant wear and tear. Spicy or fried food, a sedentary lifestyle (which makes the supporting muscles flaccid and thus overburdens the joints), wrong exercise, obesity (which places uneven and undue burden on our joints), bad posture and repetitive action.

Those most vulnerable to this malady include assembly line workers and those required to be on their feet constantly like nurses, doctors, policemen and surgeons. Others like cooks and gardeners suffer pain of the wrists and hands. Attempting exercises without proper warm-up or with ill-fitting shoes can also cause joint pain.


Causes
There are many possible causes of joint pain. The causes can be divided into categories:

• There are over 100 types of arthritis, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. But the type that most commonly causes joint pain is osteoarthritis, sometimes called the wear-and-tear disease.

• Conditions that affect metabolism, such as gout and pseudogout. These conditions result from materials being deposited into the joints.

• Infections of the joint, sometimes called septic arthritis. Infections usually spread to the joint from other areas of the body. Gonorrhea and syphilis, two sexually transmitted infections, can cause joint pain. Lyme disease, an infection that results from a tick bite, and other infections can also cause arthritis.

• Autoimmune disorders, in which a person's body produces antibodies against its own tissues. These disorders include rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

• Reactive arthritis, which means joint pain and inflammation caused by infections in other areas of the body. This type of joint pain can result from infectious diarrhea or from chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection.

• Medications, such as penicillin or procainamide

• Influenza (the "flu")


Symptom

Osteoarthritis is the result of a series of small injuries that occur over a long period of time. Years of hard work and overuse (like constant typing or incessant use of one motion in a sport, such as a golf swing or tennis serve) cause tiny fractures in the joint's cartilage and underlying bone, and the joint begins to deteriorate. (Oddly enough, underuse through lack of exercise can also cause the problem.)

Rheumatism is the medical term for inflammations of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bursae (tiny, pillowing sacs) that surround the bony part of the joint. This kind of pain better known as bursitis or tendinitis also results from the wear and tear of aging, or from overuse.

A single injury to a joint such as a sharp blow or strain can also cause joint pain, as can a torn cartilage or ligament. And sometimes the pain may actually originate somewhere else. A healthy knee might hurt because of arthritis in the hip, for example or inflammation in the wrist from carpal tunnel syndrome might cause pain in the shoulder.


Symptom Relief
The most important approach to joint pain is to work with your doctor for the right diagnosis, ruling out any serious medical problems or infections. If your pain results from osteoarthritis, the most common cause of joint pain, your doctor will prescribe specific medications, injections or exercise. If your doctor says you have gout or rheumatoid arthritis, you will be treated for inflammation (heat and swelling) in the joints as well as pain. But no matter what the cause of your pain, there's a lot you can do on your own to relieve it.


Explore your range of motion
For problems of the soft tissue around the joint, like bursitis and tendinitis, staying limber and flexible will prevent those tissues from tightening up and hurting even more. Each joint has its own natural range of movement and each individual has to find the fine line between overuse and keeping it limber. Listen to your body, don't overstretch, just try to exercise in your normal range of motion several times a day, depending on how painful it is. For example, if you have a painful shoulder, raise your arm over your head until it hurts just a little bit. You need to move the painful body part as far as you can, but do not force it. This is what a physical therapist would do with you.


Get your whole body moving
People have less pain in their joints when they exercise regularly at low to moderate intensity. Practicing yoga is best thing to do. If your condition keeps you chairbound, you can still get a good workout. Sit in a chair, put on some moderate to fast-paced music and march with your arms until you work up a good sweat. There are different posture in yoga for you to practice.


Hot and Cold Formentation
Heat helps to relax muscles around the joint. Moist heat is particularly effective. Take a wet towel, put it in the dryer but remove it while the towel is still wet and hot. Then place it against the joint, putting a dry towel on top to keep the heat in. Or you can use a moist heating pad, wrapping it around the painful joint for 20 to 30 minutes. You can also have hot and cold formentation for better reasult.

If you are suffering from a recent injury or from pain that has recently appeared, use cold instead of heat. The sooner you put ice on, the better off you are. You can leave the ice pack on for 20 minutes at a time.

Rest what hurts
If you have pain in just one joint or area, like the knee or neck, use a brace or support to rest it. If many of your joints are involved, plan for 15 minutes of rest for every hour that you're awake. For ten hours of activity, you'll need one to two hours of rest. Just put your feet up and relax.

Nonprescription Painkillers
Nonprescription painkillers may ease arthritis pain. But be aware that steady use of anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can increase your risk of an ulcer.
 
Get a little assistance
For people with arthritis or rheumatism, there's a device out there that can make your life a little less painful, especially for dressing, hygiene and kitchen activities. These devices include zipper pulls, buttoners, long-handled shoehorns, long-handled combs, elastic shoelaces or Velcro fasteners. I also suggests using something to get your weight off the painful joint, like a cane, crutch or walker.

Try the antidepressants for anti-pain
Doctor may prescribe tricyclic analgesics, also known as tricylic antidepressants, for musculoskeletal pain. These medicines may be very helpful for the insomnia and fatigue that often accompany rheumatism. They're prescribed in smaller doses than those used for depression, and they are not addicting. They relieve pain, help promote a good sleep pattern and can be used for long-term pain problems.
 
Get physical with a Yoga Therapist
Ask your doctor about a prescription for physical therapy. Physical therapists treat the muscles and underlying ligaments around the joint by improving the joint's blood supply, which promotes healing. They can help you with range-of-motion exercises and also apply healing techniques such as ultrasound waves, which go deeper into the injured tissues than any at-home, self-help techniques.

Treatment
Slow, controlled physical movement of joints is helpful for Arthritis patients. It improves the blood circulation in joints, removing unwanted toxins and other waste products. But the problem in the patients is if patient tries to move his limbs & joints then pain increases so patient does not move the limbs and problem increases. So it is vicious cycle, because of pain no movements and because there is no movement, the situation becomes worse. So patient should keep doing the movements which are possible for him.

Joint pains are symptomatic of an uneven or poor flow of energy throughout the body. Yoga opens up the blocked parts of the body, which are usually at our joints. The basic poses are there in yoga to help tackle this painful condition. The advantage of these poses is that they provide a full body workout by undoing the knots that block the transport of blood, nutrients and energy throughout the body. These poses strengthen the support systems around a joint, like the muscles, tendons and improve bone density. You may not be able to reach the full extent of these poses initially. You could try them with props or some kind of support and gradually work towards perfecting the pose.


Joint loosening exercises
This includes natural movement of every joints form hand to leg.


Supta Padangushtasana (Leg raise)
Lie on your back and inhale.

Raise right hand. Simultaneously raise right leg up in the air. The raised leg must be at right angles to the body.

Reach right hand to right foot, grasping the big toe.

Hold for as long as you can, breathing normally. Initially, if you have stiff joints, you may not be able to hold the leg up straight. In which case, bend it slightly at the knee.

If your hand cannot reach the foot, just place your hand wherever you can on the raised leg.

Relax after a while.

Repeat entire sequence for the other leg.

Repeat five times

Benefits: Tones the legs. It is the most important therapeutic exercise for knee pain. It also realigns the spine, improving posture. Also tones hands and trims a sagging abdomen.


Ekpad Pawanmuktasana (Wind releasing pose)
Lie on your back.

Inhale and fold one legs at the knee and keep other leg straight to the ground.

Exhale and hug the knees as tightly as you can to the abdomen. Ensure other leg do not rise off the floor.

Hold this pose for as long as you can, breathing normally.

Release legs back to starting position.

Repeat with other leg.


Dwipada Pawanmuktasana (Wind releasing pose)
Lie on your back.

Inhale and fold both legs at the knee.

Exhale and hug the knees as tightly as you can to the abdomen. Ensure hips do not rise off the floor.

Hold this pose for as long as you can, breathing normally.

Release legs back to starting position.

Repeat five times.

Benefits: This pose, like the previous one is therapeutic. Pawanmuktasana also means wind or energy release. Apart from removing acidity from the body, this pose also allows it to resume normal flow of energy by undoing joint stiffness. All joints are powered in this simple but most effective pose. It also relieves most spinal problems and hikes metabolism, aiding in digestion and weight loss.


Udarakarshanasana (Lying abdominal twist)
Lie on your back.

Interlock fingers, placing them under your head.

Keep elbows straight out.

Inhale. Fold legs at the knees, placing the feet close to the hips.

Exhale. Turn knees towards the right side, dropping them on the floor, creating a twist at the abdomen. Simultaneously turn head to the left, focusing eyes on left elbow.

Hold for a few minutes, breathing normally.

Release. Return to centre and repeat pose thrice.

Relax. Repeat entire sequence for opposite side.

Benefits: Same as the previous exercise but more intense.

Cycling :
Halasana :
Karnapidasana :
Markatasana :
Tadasana:
Makarasana:
Swastikasana:
Veerasana:
Trikonasana:
Vrikshasana:

Pranayama
Simple Pranayama is recommended for joints health, which involved deep breathing, special type of Pranayama with Inhalation via right nostril and exhalation via both nostrils but creating a sound of Hmm(Honey bee Sound) from the throat is found to be very effective in Arthritis patients.

Meditation:
Researches:
Vitamin and Bone Health:

Milk is rich for vitamin A, B, E, K etc but is deficient in iron, vitamin C, chromium and has negligible quantities of B complex all of which are vital for the body. Calcium is definitely found in milk and milk made items. It is also found all over nature in leafy vegetables, soya products, nuts and seeds and whole grain. So these items are suggested to consume for these people who are suffering from bone degeneration causing osteoporosis, arthritis etc. especially in old age. Growing child and women also need more of calcium. Along with calcium vitamin D is also very important factor which can be received through sun rays by having sun bath accordingly. Sun bath can be taken in various ways. Normally having sun bath in the morning with least possible cloth preferably white is best idea for all. Iron and phasphoras are also needed which can be obtained from green leafy vegetables and of other foods.


Treatment of joint on the basis of problems

Joint pain may be due to many reasons. So first we must find out the reason and then treat it. Some of the reasons are: Injury, Obesity, Arthritis, Viral fever, Toxic food.

• Injury
Rest and follow doctor’s advise is proper treatment for this reason.

• Obesity
It means over weight. First decide how much over weight with proper person. Then follow diet rules and exercise. With low calorie diet some of yoga definitely helps. It is said and proved that with kapalbhati pranayam one gram weight is reduced with one stroke of exhaling. We have to take care of input of food. Now that it does not mean at all that we have to keep ourselves starving. It means we have to take low calories balanced diet with less oil (i.e. more salad-cooked vegetables-less grain without oil) time to time. And accordingly choose exercise. Yogic systematic exercises make body weight according to our height and keeps body fit. Then there will be no joint pain. Some of yogasana helps to reduce fast like Vrittasana, Cycling, Halasana or Karnapidasana, sleeping Konasana (it is also called Katimardanasana), Kapalbhati Pranayama, etc.

Heat Treatment and Massage
A light massage of medicated Ayurveda Herbal oil is very effective, especially after application of heat (moderate and bearable with heat bags). Massage makes the joint movements easier and then patients can perform physical movements, so if massage is followed by Asanas, it has been found to be more fruitful.

Nature Cure for Arthritis
- Steam bath
- In the morning drink warm water + fresh lime on empty stomach
- Sun bath for 10 to 15 minutes

Yoga Life Style : Man has moved away from the nature and has found himself surrounded by stress and unhealthy life style, leading a stress free life is essential to good health.


Home remedies for Arthritis
Drinking boiled water with dry ginger once a day

Before taking shower / bath, massage the painful part / joint with Castor Oil.

Drink 2 spoons of Castor oil + 1 spoon Honey + Ό cup warm water before going to bed (This remedy has been discussed in Ayurveda and has wonderful results.)

Recommended Diet habit: Specific food habit help you keep your bone health better viz. regular consumption of fresh and light diet, consume food immediately when it is cooked & warm (avoid stale and cold food), wheat bread / brown bread, boiled vegetables, green vegetables, rice cooked with green gram, garlic, spinach, dates, fenugreek, fruits, eat lunch by 12 noon & dinner before 7 pm at last but not the least fast once a week, eat fruits during the fast but avoid any other food rich in calories

Strictly Avoid following Food: Some specific types of food must be avoided viz. non vegetarian food, high protein diet, hot & spicy food, deep fried food, bakery products, cold drinks, soft drinks and fast food. At the same time you should not overeat.


Lubricates the Joints
The practice of yoga increases the lubrication within the joints, ligaments and tendons. Yoga is very low impact, as the poses (asanas) work on precision and correct alignment. Because the poses are held for a set time, this gives the body an opportunity to increase blood flow and supply all areas of the body with the vital supplies that they need. They also help to correct and balance the roles that the joints, ligaments and tendons play together, in providing the support that the body's limbs need to function properly.

It is very important that your joints remain well lubricated because if they are not, it will begin to limit your mobility and you will become more susceptible to injuries. If this is the case, you can start to say hello to all kinds of aliments that come when parts of your body are failed to be maintained.

It is important also to remember that you should eat a certain amount of foods that contain "good" fats such as almond nuts. These provide the body with the lubricating matter that they need to function at a efficient and effective level of excellence.

It is never too late to start yoga and start reversing the signs of aging. Aging we believe is the result of failing to maintain your body.

 

 

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