According to a study on the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis, patients who practice yoga showed significant improvements in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
The outcomes of the research demonstrate that rheumatoid arthritis patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga, which is among the gentler forms of yoga, combining breathing and exercise techniques, showed significant improvements in disease activity scores and health assessment questionnaires. There was however no statistically significant improvement on the quality of life scale.
The majority of individuals having rheumatoid arthritis don’t exercise on a regular basis in spite of the fact that people who do, report less pain and are as a result more physically active. Even though the study was conducted in a small group of patients the outcomes reveal clearly the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers hope the study drives further research into the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis as they believe that long term yoga practice could in fact lead to additionally significant improvements.
Individuals were recruited through the Emirates Arthritis Foundation rheumatoid arthritis database. Disease activity indices, demographic data, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and SF-36 (a standard patient survey commonly used to calculate rheumatoid arthritis patient quality of life) were noted at enrollment as well as following completion of 12 yoga sessions.
Results of a separate study show the positive effects of yoga on the quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which causes extreme pain all over the body.
The study looked at the effects of yoga on the QoL of individuals with fibromyalgia, revealed that QoL scores, following an 8 session yoga program that combines breathing techniques, gentle yoga postures and meditation, were a lot better than scores before the program as well as a significant reduction in anxiety levels. As anxiety is often a key symptom in individuals with fibromyalgia, this research provides a positive step in improving the lives of those suffering from fibromyalgia.