Yoga to Help the Elderly with Joint Pain

Yoga to Help the Elderly with Joint Pain

Joint Pain – You Don’t Have to Live With It 

Aging is an inevitable part of human life, and it often brings with it a lot of challenges and changes. With retirement, a new avenue opens up for the aged to explore and enjoy life, but they can be held back by their illnesses and chronic conditions. One major damper that plays spoilsport is joint ache, which can be a natural part of old age or due to chronic conditions such as arthritis. Not only does joint ache prevent seniors from taking part in fun activities, it can also make it difficult for them to engage in day to day activity.

When the issue is with the joints, what is important is that they are not hurt any further by impactful exercises, especially done with too much gusto or improperly. Instead, what is needed is gentle exercises that focus on strength and flexibility, which stimulate the muscles and helps in the natural alleviation of joint pain – something like yoga. 

Indeed, yoga is one of the best exercises that senior citizens can take, because not only is it easy to do and practice, but it also works holistically on the mind and body to provide overall development and strength – and all of this without too much running or jumping around. 

Yoga Poses to Banish the Pain 

Medical support and sometimes medications are also necessary to treat joint pain, especially if the condition is grounded in some injury or illness. But these medications do tend to have side effects, and physical exercise always forms an important component of the treatment process. 

To aid you or your loved ones in the journey towards health in old age, here are some easy to do asanas that are particularly helpful in alleviating joint pain –

  • Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) –  A rejuvenating stretch with a gentle pose, this asan provides stress and tension alleviation from the shoulders, gently strengthens the knees, and helps in bringing a sense of balance to the body. Stay in the pose for at least thirty seconds to feel its impact. This pose has three variations, and you can perform each one in turn, or choose one that suits you the best.
  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose) – A gentle way to introduce your body to the stillness and discipline of yoga, this pose is ideal for meditation. It also helps in strengthening the back (and a healthy core is important for healthy limbs and joins) and also stretches the knees and the ankles. If you have a severe knee injury however, it is best to avoid this asana. 
  • Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) – A great way to start the day or end a yoga session, this series of twelve seamless asana provides a whole body workout, targeting the shoulders, knees, and wrists and engaging the back, abdominal and hip muscles. If you are a beginner, do not be in a hurry to complete the cycle. Instead, take your time to learn the proper posture, which will go a long way in ensuring good health. 
  • Balsana (Child Pose) – Get to the niggling feeling in your lower back while you work the knees and open up the shoulders. A resting pose, you can stay in this asana for upto a few minutes. It helps in relieving back and neck pain, and can also be a great way to foster some mental peace. If you face trouble in keeping your hips on your heels, place a folded blanket to bolster your position. 
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) – One of the most universally recognized asanas, this pose is known for providing all-around stimulation and working of the body. It helps in stretching the spine, strengthening the wrists and shoulders, and providing a gentle stretch to the back of the legs. This asana can help in improving the flexibility of your muscles, which in turn helps in reducing joint pain.
  • Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) – Working on balance and strength of the knees and legs, this asana also stretches out the shoulders and fosters a sense of peace and refinement in the body and mind. Known to improve back pain, this asana is great for improving concentration as well. Do keep in mind that you need to keep your eyes open and focused on a point to make sure that you do not topple over. 

Making Health from Yoga – Cautions and Precautions 

When it comes to joint pain, different people may have different underlying causes, and  different types and sensations of pain. Moreover, everybody has different levels of flexibility and fitness. While all the asanas listed above are easy and can be undertaken by most people, you will always be the best judge of what your body is capable of handling.

When the goal is to alleviate pain from the joints and work towards good health, it is important that you exercise discretion, work under the supervision of trained teachers, and use modifications wherever necessary. This will help in ensuring that you do not strain or injure yourself, and are able to take the best from yoga.

Joint aches thus do not have to be the thing that holds you back from enjoying the golden age of your life. With the right medical support and good yoga practice, you can banish joint pain and enjoy your life.

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