Yoga Poses for Osteoarthritis Pain Relief: Precautions and Exercises for OA

With proper medication, adhering to the correct diet and exercising regularly osteoarthritic patients can lead an active life with a controllable amount of pain, stiffness and disability. Exercise helps diminish pain and stiffness significantly, and increases flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. It helps maintain an ideal body weight and promotes general health.

Osteoarthritis and Yoga: Exercises for Osteoarthritis
  • Yoga asanas promise to enhance your range of movement, alleviate stiffness and make the joints flexible
  • The postures strengthen the muscles that support the joints affected by arthritis
  • Yoga also improves cardio-vascular fitness, controls weight and perks up overall body function. 
  • The free flowing movements of yoga make the body light, supple and agile. If you find it difficult to hold a pose, don’t stay I it for long. Instead develop mobility in the joints by moving in and out of the pose with easy flowing movements. You may use props where necessary.
  • 20 to 30 minutes of Yoga, thrice a week is recommended.
Yoga Poses for Osteoarthritis: Virbhadrasana and Trikonasana

There are three yoga postures that are beneficial in the management of Osteoarthritis pain. The yoga postures when performed with the under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor can help reduce edema and swelling and also strengthen the muscles.

Virbhadrasana or Warrior Pose

Warrior Pose for
Virbhadrasana or Warrior Pose engages the thigh muscles and awakens the inner leg from the groin to the ankle.  
  • Stand straight with the feet wide apart. Turn the left foot out.
  • Now, bend the left knee, such that the thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure that the knee sits just above the ankle, at an angle of 90 degrees.
  • Raise your hands up to the shoulders.
  • Keep the torso straight; turn the neck to the left.
  • Your gaze should be the fingers of the left hand.
  • Count 20 and gradually build up to 60.
  • Repeat for the other side.

 Trikonasana or Triangle Pose


Trikonasana strengthens
the Hips
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose strengthens the legs and mobilizes the hips. It starches the torso and allows deeper breathing
  • Stand straight with the feet wide apart. Turn the left foot out.
  • Slide your left hand down the leg and grasp the left ankle.
  • Raise the right hand and let it go overhead and rest on the ear. The hand must be parallel to the floor.
  • Your gaze should be straight ahead.
  • Count 20 and gradually build up to 60.
  • Repeat for the other side.

Supta Badha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose (Reclining)


Supta Badha Konasana or the Bound Angle Pose (reclining) gently opens the hips and the adductor muscles of the inner thigh

  •  Lie on the back. You may use a bolster for support.
  • Bring the sole of the feet together, facing each other, widen the knees and let the heels rest against the perineum.
  • Let the arms rest beside the body.
  • Close your eyes.

 Precautions Yoga Poses for OA 
Special precautions are required if you are a beginner. Here are some of the precautionary measures,
  • Stop your regimen in case you feel giddy or faint or breathlessness sets in.
  • Heat application to the affected joints makes exercising easier.
  • Do not be over zealous. Perform the asanas at a comfortable and steady pace, let the postures be free flowing and fluid; and give the muscles time to relax between two asanas.
  • Breathe correctly when performing the poses. Do not hold your breath.
  • Choose those postures that you enjoy the most and make them a routine.