Yoga for Joint Pain Relief | Exercises for Joint Pain

Joint Pain Relief

Most of us have been affected with joint problems or joint pains at some point of time in our lives. The joints of our wrists or elbows, knee joints, back, the hip, ankle, neck or shoulder are most at risk.

Causes - Joint pain occurs because of a few causes:
  • It could be due to constant wear or tear or repetitive action. Assembly line workers, working at the computer for long hours, surgeons who have to perform long operations, policemen who stand for long hours on duty, gardeners or cooks who perform repetitive actions are mostly at risk.
  • A sedentary lifestyle which makes our muscles weak and flaccid, puts extra burden on the joints, thus causing pain.
  • Bad posture has a similar effect.
  • Inflammation, such as in arthritis also puts us at risk for joint pain.
  • Oily and spicy foods also trigger joint problems, by causing build-up of toxins in the blood.
While we may take recourse to pain relievers they are not a cure for joint pain. Exercises for joint pain go a long way in opening the blockages and helping free flow of energy.

Yoga for Joint Pain

For hundreds of years yoga has proved its efficacy in bringing about joint pain relief. The postures (asanas) of yoga are gentle and smooth and thus do not aggravate any existing pain. They stretch the joints and the muscles connected to it, thereby opening up the blockages and allowing free flow of energy, blood and nutrients to all parts of the body. Yoga not only strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints, it also makes the bones stronger by improving bone density.

You must first take the advice of a doctor or yoga expert to find the root of your problem before embarking on an exercise program. If you are a beginner, you may not be able to perform each pose to its fullest extent. So start slowly and gradually, and add on the various poses.

Some of the asanas recommended in yoga to treat joint pains are:
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanmuktasana)
  • Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
  • Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
  • Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Auspicious Pose (Swastikasana)
  • Hero Pose (Veerasana)
  • Hip-to Hand Pose (Januhastasana)
  • Simple Snake Pose with two legs (Dwipad Sahajhasta bhujangasana)
  • Supporting Head on Elbows Pose (Hastashirasana)
Pranayama is also helpful as the deep breathing techniques increase the supply of blood and also relax the tension in the joints.

Heat and massage

Yoga also recommends massage and heat treatment for joint pain relief. Massaging with oil reduces inflammation and helps smoother movement of the joint. One can also apply heat with a heating bag. This helps in better circulation of blood, which carries nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body.

Diet: Yoga experts advice certain diet patterns which must be followed to reduce joint pains. Since joint pan is also related to excess toxins in the body, they advice you to keep away from spicy and oily foods, non-vegetarian foods, bakery products, alcoholic beverages and fast foods.

They recommend food which is fresh and light, such as vegetables and fruits, rice and grains.

Fasting once a week, is also recommended.

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