The outcomes of the research demonstrate that rheumatoid arthritis
patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga, which is among
the gentler forms of yoga, combining breathing and exercise
techniques, showed significant improvements in disease activity
scores and health assessment questionnaires. There was
however no statistically significant improvement on the quality of
The majority of individuals having rheumatoid arthritis don’t
exercise on a regular basis in spite of the fact that people who do,
report less pain and are as a result more physically active. Even
though the study was conducted in a small group of patients the
outcomes reveal clearly the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid
arthritis. The researchers hope the study drives further research
into the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis as they believe that long term yoga practice could in fact lead to additionally significant improvements.
Individuals were recruited through the Emirates Arthritis Foundation
rheumatoid arthritis database. Disease activity indices, demographic
data, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and SF-36 (a
standard patient survey commonly used to calculate rheumatoid
arthritis patient quality of life) were noted at enrollment as well as
following completion of 12 yoga sessions.
Results of a separate study show the positive effects of yoga on the
quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition
which causes extreme pain all over the body.
The study looked at the effects of yoga on the QoL of individuals
with fibromyalgia, revealed that QoL scores, following an 8
session yoga program that combines breathing techniques, gentle
yoga postures and meditation, were a lot better than scores
before the program as well as a significant reduction in anxiety
levels. As anxiety is often a key symptom in individuals with
fibromyalgia, this research provides a positive step in improving
the lives of those suffering from fibromyalgia.