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Arthritis and Yoga


The objective of this study was to collect controlled observations of the effect of yoga on the hands of patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Patients with OA of the hands were randomly assigned to receive either the yoga program or no therapy. Yoga techniques were supervised by one instructor once/week for 8 weeks. Variables assessed were pain, strength, motion, joint circumference, tenderness, and hand function using the Stanford Hand Assessment questionnaire. The yoga treated group improved significantly more than the control group in pain during activity, tenderness and finger range of motion.

-- Garfinkel, M. S., Schumacher, H. R. Jr, Husain, A., Levy, M., and Reshetar, R. A. (1994). Evaluation of a yoga based regimen for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands. Journal of Rheumatology 21, 2341-2343.

A total of 47 patients were enrolled: 26 yoga and 21 controls. Baseline demographics were similar in both groups. Patients who underwent yoga had statistically significant disease improvements and the health assessment questionnaire, but not quality of life. Our pilot study of 12 sessions of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis was able to demonstrate statistically significant improvements in rheumatoid arthritis disease parameters. They believe that a longer duration of treatment could result in more significant improvements.

-- Rheumatol Int. 2009 Jan 31. The benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis: results of a preliminary, structured 8-week program.Badsha H, Chhabra V, Leibman C, Mofti A, Kong KO.

The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) was used to assess subjective change after the six-week intervention period. A global assessment questionnaire was also completed by each participant and each instructor at the exit sessions to measure perceived changes in improvements since the initiation of the intervention. This study found functional changes and improvement in quality of life in traditional exercise and a yoga based approach that should encourage further comprehensive and carefully designed studies of yoga in osteoarthritis.

-- Int Q Community Health Educ. 2006-2007;26(3):287-305. The effect of iyengar yoga and strengthening exercises for people living with osteoarthritis of the knee: a case series.Bukowski EL, Conway A, Glentz LA, Kurland K, Galantino ML.

Over the last 10 years, a growing number of research studies have shown that the practice of Hatha Yoga can improve strength and flexibility, and may help control such physiological variables as blood pressure, respiration and heart rate, and metabolic rate to improve overall exercise capacity. This review presents a summary of medically substantiated information about the health benefits of yoga for healthy people and for people compromised by musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary disease.
-- Psychophysiologic effects of Hatha Yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review.Raub JA. National Center for Environmental Assessment.

Yoga Information



last update: April 2009



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