Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Does Yoga Help RA?

The short answer is yes, research has demonstrated positive benefits of yoga for persons living with RA. In preparation for writing this article, I conducted a quick search (using terms rheumatoid arthritis and yoga) of research studies indexed in PubMed and came up with 25 entries. It was interesting that among those 25 entries, I discovered:
  • a small number of the published articles were papers that detailed the protocols for future research studies (e.g., Evans, 2011; Middleton, 2013);
  • a small number of the studies were pilot studies conducted to investigate the feasibility of conducting larger studies (e.g., Evans, 2010); 
  • not many studies have been conducted which specifically investigate yoga and RA, with less than a handful being randomized, controlled studies; and 
  • a significant number of the articles were actually reviews or meta-analyses of the small number of completed studies published within a certain time period (e.g., Telles, 2012).
How does yoga benefit persons with RA?

Here are some of the reported benefits of yoga in patients with RA seen during select clinical trials of various methods, outcomes, measurements, and duration.

Yoga helps to decrease:
  • Disability
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Rheumatoid factor levels (reduced in both men and women, but remained above normal in women; Telles, 2011)
  • C-reactive protein levels (primarily in women; the average levels in male participants more than doubled; Telles, 2011)
Yoga helps to improve:
  • Range of motion and balance
  • Chronic pain acceptance
  • Mood
  • Energy
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep quality
  • Self-efficacy and confidence
  • Vitality and general health
  • Mindfulness
  • Daily functioning
  • Quality of life
  • Hand grip strength (males only in one study; Telles, 2011)
 Read this post in its entirety:
Benefits of Yoga for RA Patients

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