Yoga for back and joint problems

It is never too late to take up yoga (nor too early.) In a study for the University of California (UCLA) School of Medicine, 21 people aged 60 or over started to take a yoga class twice a week. They all had rounded backs, the dreaded 'dowager's hump', which can interfere with normal movement. The measured benefits were impressive: the curvatures were reduced by six per cent; walking speeds were upped by eight per cent, and their 'reaches' improved by 18 per cent. As a side benefit, many of the study's volunteers reported that their balance had improved. Many of us who spend time at computers have wrist problems; leading, in some cases, to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), where swollen tendons press on the wrist. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that for mild symptoms, yoga can be incredibly effective. The researchers found that CTS sufferers who did Iyengar yoga twice a week for eight weeks experienced a four-fold improvement in grip strength and a two-fold reduction in pain, compared to their be-splinted peers. (My hunch)Virtually any form of gentle yoga would have shown similar results.)

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