Yoga May Help Alleviate Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, New Study Shows

Yoga May Help Alleviate Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, New Study Shows

A new study has found that yoga can have a positive impact on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Over time, it can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. The study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that practicing yoga for 8 weeks lowered disease activity, stabilized inflammation-related biomarkers, and maintained cell homeostasis.

One of the primary markers of RA is an imbalance of pro-inflammatory T helper 17 (Th17) cells and anti-inflammatory regulatory T (Treg) cells, also known as Th17/Treg cell imbalance. The study demonstrated that yoga has the potential to modulate this imbalance and provide relief for individuals with RA.

Dr. Monisha Bhanote, an integrative medicine lifestyle physician, explained that the study delved into the molecular mechanisms by which yoga could alleviate RA symptoms. This research looked at gene expression patterns and epigenetic markers to better understand how yoga can impact the immune system and restore the Th17/Treg cell balance disrupted in RA.

While the study was small in size and short in duration, it provides a scientific basis for integrating yoga as an adjunct therapy in RA treatment plans. The findings could lead to more research into specific elements of yoga that are most effective in treating RA.

Healthcare professionals may consider recommending yoga programs as complementary treatments to standard disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Gentle styles of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Yin yoga, restorative yoga, and chair yoga, are recommended for individuals with mobility limitations. Yoga postures can be modified with the support of props to ensure safety and accessibility.

In addition to the physical benefits, yoga also incorporates mindfulness and meditation, which have been shown to lower physical biomarkers associated with stress. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with RA, as stress can increase the risk of flares. Meditation and relaxation techniques have been found to increase protective Treg cells and decrease inflammatory Th17 cells, leading to improved symptoms and fewer flares.

It’s important to note that the study had limitations, including a small sample size, short duration, and a lack of control for other lifestyle variables. However, the positive effects of yoga on RA symptoms provide promising evidence for the integration of yoga into RA management plans.

– [Scientific Reports](source)
– [Medical News Today](source)

All Rights Reserved 2021.
| .