When you’ve tried everything for joint pain

Clients often arrive at yoga therapy after they’ve tried seemingly everything to alleviate their pain and suffering.

As yoga therapist Cheryl Gordon, C-IAYT, notes in this article, suffering is about much more than physical pain—and so is yoga therapy. Cheryl tells the representative story of “June,” who sought help dealing with arthritis and chronic pain:

“Chronic joint pain is about more than a knee or hip….[I]n June’s case, her worries and frustrations about her narrowing activity opportunities were causing as much pain as the actual arthritis. Having pain causes us to adjust our socializing so we can become isolated and at risk for depression. Having pain and getting yet another round of tests makes us feel like we are at the mercy of others, holding no power ourselves to heal. Having pain can create a feeling of hopelessness that causes other areas of self-care to fall away.”

Yoga therapists can tailor physical movements to address specific areas of complaint—for example, offering exercises to strengthen areas that lack stability and release those that may be excessively tight—but the work also takes places in the mental, emotional, and spiritual realms, always respecting clients’ own beliefs and meeting them where they are in each area. (It’s also not a barrier to yoga therapy if certain movements—or even any movement at all—is not appropriate for a particular client.)

As more people, including healthcare providers, learn about the healing possibilities of yoga therapy delivered by well-trained professionals, hopefully the practices will become a first line of defense rather than the end of the road! Find an IAYT-certified yoga therapist to work with.