Arthritis – An understanding and freedom from its crippling effects the Yogic way


Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 120 different types of arthritis.

 Alternative name

Comman causes:-

Normally  protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage inflammation), and stiffness

You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:

Broken bone

Infection (usually caused by bacteria or viruses)

With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity. When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur as you age. You may feel it in any of your joints, but most commonly in your hips, knees or fingers. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

Being overweight

Previously injuring the affected joint

Using the affected joint in a repetitive action that puts stress on the joint (baseball players, ballet dancers, and construction workers are all at risk)

Arthritis can occur in men and women of all ages.

Other types or cause of arthritis include:

Rheumatoid arthritis (in adults)

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in children)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)



Psoriatic arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Reiter’s syndrome (reactive arthritis)

Adult Still’s disease

Viral arthritis

Gonococcal arthritis

Other bacterial infections (non-gonococcal bacterial arthritis )

Tertiary Lyme disease (the late stage)

Tuberculous arthritis

Fungal infections such as blastomycosis


If you have arthritis, you may experience:

Joint pain

Joint swelling

Stiffness, especially in the morning

Warmth around a joint

Redness of the skin around a joint

Reduced ability to move the joint

Yogic cure:-


    {1} Shatkarma                                             {Purificatory  processes}

  1. Kunjal                                  {Volitional stomach wash}


          {2}Yogasanas                                                                    {Posture}

[A]  Padmasana                                                     {Lotus}

[B]  Shalabhasana                                                 {Locust}

[C] Shavasana                                                       {Corpse}

[D] Trikonasana                                                    {Tringle}

[E] Vakrasana                                                       {Cranepose}

[F] Makrasana                                                       {Crocodile}

[g] Trikonasna                                                      {Triple angle}

[H] Bhujangasana                                                 {Cobra pose }

[I]  Vrikshasana                                                   {Tree posture}


 {3}Pranayama                       {Body-mind energizing breathing practices}

[A] Surya bhedana                                  {Right nostrilar pranayama}

[B] Bhastrika                                           {Bellows pranayama }


 {4}Bandhas                                                             {Bands}                                                              

{a} Maha bandha


   {5} Mudras                                                      {Finger -posture}     

           {a} Vayu mudra                                 

         {b} Pran mudra     

  {6} Dhyan                                                       {Meditation}    


{7}Yogic diet————-


Cold dishes, cold drinks, ice creams etc.

Curd, yoghurt and buttermilk.

Sour and bitter foods like pickles, sauces, chutneys vinegar, tamarind etc.

Raw tomatoes, raw mangoes, sour fruit juices.

Hot spices and chillies.

Grams, heavy pulses like rajmah, urad and lentils (peas and beans etc.)

Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, mausambis etc.

Kachalu, arbi, Yam (Zimikand) and other such heavy vegetables.

Rice, fried food items.

Non Vegetarian foods.

Alcholic and other drinks.

Maida, refined careals, other items made from refined cereals.

Tinned foods, preserved and pro­cessed foods.

Too much of oils and fats.

Foods Allowed for pain sufferers of Arthritis.

Gourd Bottle, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, drum stick , Green papaya, plaintains (raw bananas), brinjals, Bathu,.a Spinach, Capsicum, parmal,kunduru, raw turmeric and all other veg­etables except those listed above under the heading ‘Foods to be avoided.

Wheat, maize, buck wheat (Kootu), barley etc.

Light washed pulses like mung, arhar and masur.

Mild spices like ginger (adrak), cummin seeds (Zeera), Cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), turmeric (haldi), co­riander (dhania), black pepper (Kali mirch), asfoetida (hing) and garlic.

Milk and its products except curd.

Green leafy vegetables, tender radish and carrots.

Papaya, apples, pears (sweet), apple juice, carrot juice, grape juice, pomegran­ate, black currants (munakka).

Honey, sugars etc.

Limited quantities of fats and oils.

Preferably warm water to be taken.

Take one-half teaspoon paste of juice or garlic mixed with two teaspoon honey twice a day on empty stomach.

Take 5-10 g of raw turmeric or the same boiled with milk in the morning on empty stomach.

If constipative, take two ounces (60 ml) of castor oil mixed with warm milk, preferably at night.

Home remedies:-

  • Soak 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds in a quarter cup of water overnight. Take the seeds along with water first thing in the morning. This has been found effective in preventing frequent joint pains.
  • Eat 2-3 cloves of garlic everyday. Garlic has an anti-inflammatory property which accounts for its effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis.
  • Apply ginger compresses on the affected area which will ease pain.
  • Dilute medium-sized potato in a cup of water (place the potato slices overnight in a glass filled with water) and drink first thing in the morning.
  • On an empty stomach take 3-4 walnuts or one fresh coconut.
  • Drink a cup of fresh pineapple juice which is also valuable. Pineapple juice reduces swelling and inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Prepare green gram soup by mixing a tablespoon of green gram in a cup of water, with two crushed garlic cloves. Take this soup twice a day.
  • Drink one cup of ginger tea with two teaspoons of castor oil added before going to bed. Expect some laxative effect from castor oil. Castor oil contains natural precursors of steroids, which help to heal the inflammatory condition of rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientific explanation:-

   1. Strengthen Muscles

Patients with arthritis often experience a significant loss of muscle strength due to debilitating pain or stiffness that limits the amount or type of exercises performed. The slow, controlled movements associated with yoga help you build strength by using your body’s own weight to boost joint strength. Poses such as the pond, cobra, warrior and triangle all help you put weight on your joints, building muscle strength. This added muscle strength helps arthritis sufferers to gain more physical energy.

2.Reduce Stiffness

For arthritis sufferers, joint stiffness often sets off a perpetual cycle of pain. For example, exercise reduces joint stiffness in arthritis sufferers, yet arthritis sufferers often experience too much joint stiffness to engage in exercise. Yoga poses, help those with joint stiffness to slowly move past their pain, instead of having to engage in fast or jerking motions associated with higher-impact exercise.

3.Reduction of Swelling and Inflammation

Arthritis sufferers who regularly engage in yoga sessions that incorporate deep breathing, relaxation and meditation have experienced a reduction in swelling in otherwise swollen joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Yoga also reduced joint tenderness and inflammation. Taking at least two 1-hour sessions per week and modifying poses if the joints were too painful helped patients to experience these positive results.

4.Improve Flexibility

One of the benefits of regular yoga practice is enhanced flexibility. This is no exception for arthritis sufferers, who are able to move through various yoga poses to experience greater flexibility. Because arthritis can cause the joints to feel stiff and immobile, improving flexibility can help you to move more easily and with less pain. It is important that you attend a class led by a certified yoga instructor because this yoga instructor is well-versed in helping arthritis patients find alternate poses should they be unable to perform a certain pose.


Start with a few of the simple stretches. It is important not to overdo these exercises.

If an exercise program is painful and too strenuous, it isn’t likely to be continued.

Most people respond to the arthritis by decreasing their activity level. Inactivity, however, is often the worst thing to do because it weakens the muscles and actually increases stiffness and pain.

Though it might appear a little difficult asana for the beginners, with regular practice, any person can do it properly.

Further suggestion:-

  • Try to avoid pain killers. Instead of painkiller use max packs to control pain.
  • Make use of constipation removing things like Isabgol, Trifala,bail powder.
  • Try to control stress, keep yourself calm, avoid strong sentiments against anyone. Practice meditational techniques to divert your mind.

Scientific appraisal in favour of yoga:-

Yoga’s gentle exercises designed to provide relief to needed joints had been found to be very effective in relieving arthritis.

“Exercise has been recommended as treatment for arthritis for a long, long time -about 75 years,” says Morris K Bowie, M.D., a rheumatologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Pennsylvania. “People were exercising their arthritic joints before yoga was ever introduced into this country. Exercise is very important to try to reestablish a complete range of motion. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should induce a long continual strain. We encourage a moderate amount of non-strenuous, non-weight-bearing exercises tailored to the individual’s needs. Some yoga postures are not tolerated well, particularly by those past 50.”

Yoga’s slow-motion movements and gentle pressures reach deep into troubled joints. In addition, the easy stretches in conjunction with deep breathing exercises relieve the tension that binds up the muscles and further tightens the joints. Yoga is exercise and relaxation rolled into one – the perfect antiarthritis formula.

A major problem in prescribing exercise is in getting the patient to follow through. If an exercise program is painful and too strenuous, it isn’t likely to be continued. An arthritis sufferer probably will be startled at the mere mention of the word “exercise.” Yoga eases you into exercise without causing strain or undue pain. Even if you are only able to move an inch and hold a position for five seconds, you are already enhancing your body’s flexibility.

Some physicians have long recognized the advantages of yoga like exercises. Dr. Bowie recommends the pendulum, an arm-swinging exercise “devised by an orthopedic surgeon’ for bursitis and shoulder stiffness. He also favors deep-breathing exercising for ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritis related condition affecting the joints of the spine.

It is important not to overdo these exercises. It will do more harm than good. Start with a few of the simple stretches. The simple leg pull, the chest expansion exercise, and the knee and thigh stretch are especially beneficial to the joints. If your arthritis is severe, use a modified version of these stretching exercises that suit your needs.

Then try some slow rotation exercises. Head circles performed in the yoga fashion – that is, slowly, with pauses in the forward, side and back positions – will help loosen up a stiff neck. Similarly, ankle rotation will improve arthritis conditions in those joints.

The Flower is a great yoga exercise for arthritic fingers. Whenever you think of it, make a tight fist and hold for five seconds. Then release and stretch your hand open as far as you can for an additional five seconds.

Ready to concentrate on those major problem areas? if your arthritis has come to rest in your spine, limber up that area with the seated spiral twist, the cobra, and the neck and shoulder stretch. Got it in the hips? Then lie down in bed and try some hip rolls.

Take a few days’ rest if the pain gets too intense. Resume again when you’re feeling better.

Of course, on days that movement comes easy, don’t overdo it. Overworked joints can be as painful as neglected ones. So, no matter how good the exercises feel, don’t continue for more than a few minutes at a time. For people with severe arthritis, it’s usually better to divide the daily yoga routine into about three or four segments of about five minutes each. Rest periods and deep-breathing exercises interspersed throughout the day’s yoga sessions will help relax the muscles that tighten up joints.


By-  Yogi Yoganand