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Chair Yoga: Effective Alternative Treatment For Osteoarthritic Pain

Update Date: Jan 12, 2017 11:47 AM EST
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Numerous studies have already recommended and proven the benefits of physical exercise to one's health. However, older people who are suffering osteoarthritis find if hard to do any kind of physical exercises.

Thankfully, a study recently found that doing chair yoga not only allows osteoarthritis sufferers a way to exercise but is also an effective alternative treatment for reducing osteoarthritic pain.

Osteoarthritis is one of the common types of arthritis afflicting old people. This condition is described as the degradation of the cartilages in the joints leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. In order to reduce the pain experienced by people with osteoarthritis, most doctors recommend the use of pharmaceutical drugs which is without side effects and a change in one's lifestyle.

The Arthritic Foundation even recommends yoga as the way for osteoarthritis sufferers to reduce joint pains and improve flexibility, balance, and strength but not all of them can start a practice. This could be because as they age, the patients lack strength in their muscles, flexibility, and balance to do yoga. Some even have the fear of falling due to imbalance.

Unlike regular yoga, chair yoga is the practice of yoga by sitting or standing while holding a chair. Chair yoga not only gives its practitioners the same benefits as regular yoga but also abolishes the fear of elderly practitioners of falling over due to imbalance.

The study conducted by the Florida Atlantic University is the pilot study that looks into the effects of chair yoga on pain and physical functions of elderly osteoarthritis sufferers. In order to do the study, the researchers randomly assigned 131 elderly osteoarthritis sufferers to either do the Sit 'N' Fit Chair Yoga program or a health education program.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, reports that the participants in the yoga group showed greater reduction in pain and pain interference during their session. The experience of less pain even continued for about three months after the participants completed the eight-week chair yoga program. It also reports that chair yoga helped reduce fatigue and improve gait speed during the chair yoga sessions but not after.

With these results, the researchers are hoping that more people, especially those suffering osteoarthritis, be recommended to do chair yoga to reduce the pain they are experiencing. Chair yoga is not only an effective alternative treatment for osteoarthritic pain but also an effective physical exercise that will improve the quality of life of the elderly.

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