What if I have osteoarthritis pain during certain yoga poses?

If you experience pain during yoga, tell your instructor. He or she can suggest a different position that can achieve close to the same effect. Some back bends or leg stretches might be too much for people with osteoarthritis. Don't push too hard in bends or stretches that you know can cause pain. Remember to be gentle at first until you get enough confidence and flexibility.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you're doing yoga and find that certain poses are making your arthritic joints hurt, stop! Be especially careful with any poses or stretches that put stress on the lower back or neck. If you have hip or knee arthritis, be careful when doing poses and stretches that put strain on these joints. If you can, find a yoga class that's meant for beginners or people with osteoarthritis (OA). Make sure your yoga instructor knows you have osteoarthritis so he or she can suggest the best yoga poses and stretches for your joints.
Studies show yoga, an exercise program that combines stretching and deep breathing, reduces osteoarthritis pain and increases physical function. However, sore, stiff joints may make it more difficult for you to do certain yoga poses.

If you feel pain while exercising, stop to avoid further injury to your joints. Before taking a yoga class discuss your concerns with the instructor and see if there is a class that may be more appropriate for someone with osteoarthritis. Or, consult a physical therapist, who can help design an exercise program that’s safe for you and teaches you how to exercise correctly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.