Knee Arthritis Yoga with Dr Melissa West

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Intro to Yoga for Knee Arthritis

Knee Arthritis Class

Arthritis means inflammation of your joint. It is the result of deteriorated articular cartilage, the slippery cushion at the end of the bones that works to absorb shock and facilitate the easy movement of the bones over each other. When your cartilage wears down, bone rubs against bone and causes pain and swelling. If fragments break off from the bone and cartilage this causes bone spurs.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis. Although there is no cure for arthritis there are things you can do to reduce chronic pain. With Osteoarthritis the knee is the most commonly affected joint in the body. Proper body alignment is important; people who are bow-legged or knock-kneed for example are more likely to develop arthritis in their knees for example.

Rheumatoid arthritis is slightly different, your body's immune system turns against itself. Your knee is encased in synovium, a capsule filled with fluid that lubricates the moving parts of your knee. With rheumatoid arthritis, the body's defense against infection turns against the synovium. White blood cells that would normally attack infection go after cartilage and bone. The synovial lining responds by swelling and the muscles and ligaments that surround the knee are weakened and damaged. People with rheumatoid arthritis may experience symptoms of fatigue and unwellness in addition to the symptoms of osteoarthritis. (Remember to get lots of rest if you have RA)

One of the most important things you can do if you are suffering from arthritis is take an honest look at your weight. Dr. Brian Halpern author of the Knee Crisis Handbook says, "I tell every single one of my arthritic patients to lose weight if they need to."

If you have osteoarthritis you will experience pain, aching and stiffness in your knee especially after inactivity. You may notice a reduction in the range of motion of your knee joint and hear a crunching sound or feeling when you move your knee.

The most important thing you can do for arthritis is increase the range of motion of your knee joint. Your instinct is to immobilize your joint and while that might feel good in the short term, it is going to cause more pain in the long term. Also gaining strength for the muscles that support the knee will help relieve some of the stress that the knee joint takes and keep your knee joint healthy.

Doing this yoga video will allow you to feel like you are on top of the disease rather than a victim of it. Remember, do what you can. Don`t expect to be able to do the exercises just like me! I don`t have arthritis in my knees! If you can move your joints through a range of motion that is a third as much or half is much, that is fantastic, work up to full range of motion. There is no perfect or better or best in yoga, what matters is that you show up on your yoga mat and start where you are. Listen to your own body and do what you can today. That is all anybody is asking. Send me your comments and questions. I value your feedback and read and respond to every single response.

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