There is a strong relationship between posture and support for arthritis.
Arthritis is a condition that involves an inflammation of the joints. The types of arthritis on most people’s radar are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The fact is that there are over one hundred different classifications for arthritis.
As a yoga teacher I look at hands all day long. And without any special powers I feel that I can often see the future of someone’s joints in the way their hands rest on the floor in downward dog and other weight bearing poses. And a future dominated by the painful swollen joints of arthritis is not something to look forward to.
In the near future I will write about the “miracle” cure that my sister-in-law went through after a major attack of rheumatoid arthritis when she was only thirty-six. After beginning the classic drug regimen most often associated with rheumatoid arthritis (prednisone, methotrexate), she went down a different path with great success (a story for another post).
People who suffer from any type of arthritis—or autoimmune disease— have a very difficult journey if they want to avoid a drug protocol similar to the one above. And the drug treatments, which can be very successful, don’t work for everyone.
Since I am not a doctor and can’t proscribe medicine, but work with many people suffering from assorted itis’s, I can only use what is in my own personal bag of tricks. And I have had decent success employing walking and posture correction for arthritis support.
Distilling the functioning body into the simplest terms I often go with: The bones hold us up, the muscles move us and the nerves tell the muscles to move the bones. Unfortunately poor posture means that misaligned bones force muscles to do work that they weren’t designed to do (hold us up), and prevent the free and easy flow of the nerves through the spinal column which diminishes their energetic capacity.
So we want to improve our posture (the alignment of the bones) to free the muscle to better do their jobs, which in turn creates the best environment for the nerves to flow through the body.
While everyone is well served by relearning how to walk and stand, people who suffer from arthritis have a greater incentive than most when it comes to finding a way to minimize the deleterious effects of chronically inflamed joints. Joints that are well aligned have the least amount of stress on them and that can only help to support inflammatory issues.
Any improvement in skeletal alignment will translate into less tension on the joints that suffer. Any reader of the blog knows that I am fairly obsessed with the alignment of the pelvis, and a well aligned pelvis resonates throughout the body even affecting the hands and feet.
There isn’t often a cure for many types of arthritis—we can only hope to support the body in its battle with itself—and improving walking patterns and posture is something that we always have the ability to do and while it might not be wholly curative, it can make living with these conditions so much more bearable.