Rheumatoid DiseasesYoga

Yoga benefits joints in rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland report that yoga, breathing, and relaxation significantly reduced joint tenderness and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The study was presented during the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco.

First, the details.

  • 30 sedentary adults with RA were assigned to 1 of 2, 8-week programs.
    • A 1-hour class of yoga per week plus practice at home.
    • A waiting list that served as the control.
  • Traditional yoga poses were modified as needed to accommodate for limitations due to RA.
  • Deep breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques were also included in the yoga group.

And, the results.

  • Those in the yoga group had significantly fewer tender and swollen joints compared to before starting the class.
  • Those in the waitlist control group saw no significant changes in their tender and swollen joint counts.

The bottom line?
This is the second in an ongoing series of studies by researchers at Johns Hopkins. An earlier report found that patients with RA felt better after yoga. This study shows that yoga improved joint tenderness and swelling.

Researcher Steffany Haaz say that future studies will be designed to identify the mechanism the explains the improvement seen here.

11/22/08 21:34 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.