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Yoga for Osteoarthritis (Swelling in the knee accompanied by inability to bend)
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August 6, 2011 - 11:47 am
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What yoga asanas must be avoided and must be included for a person having Osteoarthritis (Swelling in the knee accompanied by inability to bend)?


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August 7, 2011 - 6:09 pm
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Dear Radhika,


Is the Osteoarthritis in the knee only? This is important because any back bending asana should be avoided if the osteoarthritis is in the spine.

Standing for too long is not good, so only short time is allowed for any standing asanas. Yoga asanas that increase range of motion and strengthen the muscles in the leg are very good. Yoga in this case is only for reducing pain and improving one's functions. Suggestion: No jumping asanas, no bouncing movements, and no impact on the knee joints at all.

Seated, supine, and prone asanas that do not cause pain are suggested. Kneeling might cause pain in the knees. You could test, but if it causes pain do not proceed. Padmasana may cause too much pain. Climbing stairs may also cause pain. Anything that causes pains should be stopped.

Viparita Karani is very good for reducing the swelling in knees. Inversions may be fine if there is no blood pressure or eye problems.

Supportive devices like shoe inserts, knee braces, good shoes that absorb impact of walking, a cane or a walker are worth consideration depending on how much pain is involved. Other ideas could include applications of heat before exercise, an insulated ice pack if there is swelling, swimming, liniments, or bandages. If the person has too much weight, losing weight might reduce swelling and pain, but not always.

Hari Aum,


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