Using yoga for health and healing is nothing new, since Americans have been using the holistic regimen to their benefit for decades. However, while the system itself isn't a recent creation – it's ancient, in fact – yoga is constantly being put to novel uses.
Numerous researchers are utilizing yoga for healthy knees among their patients, and scads of Americans are adopting the regimen on their own for the same reason. You can find stories about yoga's arthritis-soothing effects just about everywhere.
Take the Huffington Post's Michael Boblett, who posted a brand new piece about his mother's battle with rheumatoid arthritis, which she had starting at age 11. The columnist, who is also a mountaineer and marathoner, noted that even with her infirmity, his mom still emphasized the importance of doing exercises to keep the muscles and joints flexible.
Why is this important? Boblett wrote that it goes beyond mere physical health to the ability to overcome life's challenges.
"It has to do with running through brick walls," he said figuratively.
Still, even without imparting the literal ability to bust through barriers, yoga is proven to help people with knee pain and joint aches jump up and get going.
A study in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that regular yoga classes helped women with osteoarthritis improve their gait and balance. Another paper, this one in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies, found that stretching and posing can reduce athralgias – or joint aches, in layman's terms – for women on breast chemotherapy regimens.
Yoga can get people with arthritis off their knees, on their feet or even lying flat on their backs. According to a study in the journal Sleep Medicine, routinely using yoga techniques can improve sleep quality and duration for middle-aged and elderly women.