Study: Chair Yoga Is an Effective Treatment for Arthritis (Video Included!)
Can an exercise known as “chair yoga” put an end to daily aches and pains?
Many senior adults suffer from pain and limited mobility caused by arthritis. While many reach for over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or Tylonol, serious adverse reactions are associated with the common treatment of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly for those who take them regularly.
But now, many are finding new hope after a promising new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found chair yoga is an effective alternative treatment for arthritis. Moreover, like many other natural interventions, it has several other benefits rather than side effects.
As arthritis has no “cure,” the study offers hope to the millions afflicted with the inflammatory illness. The debilitation it causes can make the performance of everyday activities challenging, so news of a treatment that improves quality of life for these patients is exceedingly welcome. This research is the first controlled trial to find chair yoga can help those who have the disease in their hip, knees, ankles or foot. The authors hailed the results that showed the therapy provided relief without the use of pharmacologic agents.
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Chair Yoga Reduced Pain and Fatigue
In the study conducted at Florida Atlantic University, researchers randomly assigned 131 senior adults into a chair yoga program or a health education program. All the participants attended two 45-minute sessions per week over a course of eight weeks. The scientists assessed their pain, gait speed, balance, functional ability and fatigue before, during and after the sessions. Pain interference, which denotes the extent to which the pain affects life, was also measured.
Findings showed participants in the chair yoga group had a greater reduction in pain, fatigue and pain interference than those in the health education group. Moreover, three months after the program ended, they were still enjoying relief from the pain interference that had affected various aspects of their lives, including social activities.
“Chair yoga should be further explored as a nonpharmacologic intervention,” the authors concluded.
Chair Yoga Offers Help for the Infirmed
The authors point out that yoga can ease the suffering of arthritis, but not everyone has the ability to engage in the activity in the traditional way.
“Many older adults cannot participate in standing exercises because of lack of muscle strength, pain and balance as well as the fear of falling due to impaired balance,” the university said. “Chair yoga is practiced sitting in a chair or standing while holding the chair for support, and is well suited to older adults who cannot participate in standing yoga or exercise.”
“The potential impact of this study on public health is high, as this program provides an approach for keeping community-dwelling elders active even when they cannot participate in traditional exercise that challenges their balance,” said Patricia Liehr, Ph.D., R.N. co-principal investigator, co-author and a professor in FAU’s College of Nursing.
When you consider the great prevalence of crippling arthritis and its broad detrimental effects, the discovery of an alternative therapy that can make a considerable difference is remarkable. Chair yoga can help these people function better and enjoy their lives more. A side benefit of the therapy is that it promotes relaxation and stress reduction.
Need Some Guidance?
Check out this great video we found. This offers a great introduction to an exercise routine using chair yoga. If you try it, let us know how you like it!
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.