Many people are familiar with the issue of joint pain. Regardless of whether you are a sports enthusiast or a couch potato, you would have experienced certain level of joint pain at some point in your life. Sportsmen are more prone to suffer from joint pain due to over exertion or injury. Other people who are less active are susceptible to joint pain as a result of inactivity. More importantly, joint issues become more predominant as we gradually age with the passing of time.
The issue of joint pain has been bugging us for many years. Countless health professionals, fitness experts and even scientists have weighed in on the subject with their personal views and offer effective solutions to counter health problem. Various treatment methods in the form of health supplements, medications, injections, physical therapy, homemade cure and even through the use of the copper element, have yielded drastically differing results. None of the specific treatment options is able to identify itself as a permanent cure for joint pain.
The art of yoga is an intricate mix of physical, mental and spiritual discipline originating from India. The earliest form of yoga can be traced back to the 11th century. It only gained worldwide recognition in the 1980s after western countries adopted it as an alternate form of physical exercise. In the 21st century, yoga has been able to reinvent itself again and attract legions of followers thanks to the healthy lifestyle movement.
In terms of practicing yoga as an option for joint pain relief, the concept is relatively new compared to the other forms treatment. Unlike other forms of treatments, the basis of practicing yoga does not act as a cure for joint pain. Instead, it advocates participants to work moderately through the pain and reap the therapeutic benefits of this exercise.
Participants have noted that yoga is effective in managing joint pain issues in such as inflamed knee joints and stiff neck. Among all the variations of yoga poses, the cat pose is hugely popular with people who suffer from back pain. The cat pose should be practiced along with the cow pose. Both exercises form a smooth sequence which is beneficial for the spine and helps to ease back pain.
Get into the Cat pose by kneeling down and placing your hands on the ground. Ensure that the knees and shoulders are neatly aligned with the hips. Tuck your chin in towards your chest and gentle form your back into a hunching position. As you start to inhale slowly, lift your chin away from your chest and look straight ahead. Simultaneously, your back will instinctively straighten itself from the original hunching position.
Yoga instructors highly recommend that beginners practice this sequence for 7 to 10 repetitive cycles in order to get in sync with the flow of your breath. However, the cat and cow pose does put minimal pressure on the wrist and people with existing injuries should take necessary precautions.
The comprehensive range of benefits that yoga contributes towards alleviating joint pain does not stop at the cat pose. There are many other variations of poses that specifically help to ease joint pain in areas such as the knees, shoulders and neck. Listed below are some of the other alternative yoga poses that are known to help with joint pain.
This yoga pose is easily carried out and extremely useful towards the nourishment of knee joints. Participants stand upright with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Ensure that the back is straightened and regulate breathing at a slow and steady pace.
Ear to shoulder pose (neck)
Another easy pose to achieve. Participants may choose to be seated or stand upright. Ensure that the spine is straight and start by looking straight ahead. Slowly regulate breathing pace and tilt the ear towards the shoulder. Repeat the movement for each side in cycles of 10 repetitions helps to ease any neck pain or stiffness.
Viparita karani (spine)
This pose provides several benefits to the body. It helps to ease the pressure being put on the neck and spine, aids in blood circulation and soothes the nervous system. Participants start by lying down adjacent to a wall support and proceed to raise their legs against the wall. Their body should form an “L” shape. Their arms should be extended out with palms facing towards the sky. Regulating breathing at a slow pace and keeping this pose for anytime between 5 to 10 minutes would achieve the desired results.
The issue of joint pain has been the bane of many people’s life. While many options present themselves as effective treatments to cure joint pain, most of them have received mixed responses from the public.
Rather than promoting itself as a cure for joint issues, the practice of yoga aims to help people effectively manage their pain. Variations of yoga poses are known to offer therapeutic benefits to its participants, including reducing the level of joint pain. The cat pose is a perfect example. Participants are able to enjoy lessened back pain through this pose. Other poses such as the Tadasana and Viparita Karani can help to alleviate discomfort in the neck and spine as well.
Compared to other forms of treatment, the practice of yoga offers itself as a refreshing concept towards joint issues. Instead of wasting time trying all sorts of scientific or unorthodox methods that advocate themselves as a guaranteed cure for joint pain, why not indulge in the practice of yoga and reap the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that it provides.