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Can yoga help women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis?

Women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may find some welcome relief in yoga. Research from UC Los Angeles shows that practicing a style of yoga known as Iyengar may help boost mood and ease joint pain, fatigue and other symptoms.

The small study involved women ages 21 to 35 that on average had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 10 and a half years. Roughly half of the participants were assigned to six weeks of Iyengar yoga classes while the remaining individuals were added to a class wait list. Researchers presented their findings last week at the American Pain Society's annual meeting. According to a recent WebMD article:

After six weeks, they asked both groups about their condition. The group that practiced yoga said they were happier than when they started. They said they could better accept their pain. They also reported better general health and more energy.

The women on the wait list for yoga classes did not experience these improvements.

Past studies echo these latest findings showing that yoga-based interventions may relieve rheumatoid arthritis patients' symptoms.

Previously: U.S. adults face "significant" risk of developing autoimmune disease, Study highlights impact of rheumatoid arthritis on women's lives and Rates of rheumatoid arthritis rising in women
Photo by lululemon athletica

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