Rheumatoid arthritis medications have come a long way in aiding those with this autoimmune joint-based condition, but they are not perfect and many patients continue to experience symptoms – even while on treatment. Regular practice of yoga exercises just might be able to fill in the gaps in terms of physical and psychological symptom relief.
This latest study recruited 72 people with rheumatoid arthritis and divided them into two groups:
- Group A: continued taking disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for their condition but did not add in any yoga.
- Group B took DMARDs but also practiced yoga for two hours, five times a week over the two months of this study.
The differences between these groups were apparent when it came to both physical and psychological benefits. First, in terms of physical changes, the yoga group showed less inflammation, improved cellular health, and less oxidative stress. Second, there were mental benefits related to less severe depression symptoms.
This unique combination of specialty medication treatment of rheumatoid arthritis layered with a regular exercise program based on yoga clearly garnered benefits for the individuals in this study. Considering the other well-documented benefits of yoga, there’s no reason for patients with rheumatoid arthritis not to try adding in yoga to their overall treatment protocol.
Gautam S, Tolahunase M, Kumar U, et al. Impact of yoga based mind-body intervention on systemic inflammatory markers and co-morbid depression in active Rheumatoid arthritis patients: A randomized controlled trial. Restorat Neurol Neurosci 2019;pre-press:1-19.