Background: Previous studies have shown that yoga practice improved the hand grip strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Findings: Sixty-four participants with RA (group average age ± S.D., 46.5 ± 9.6 years; 47 females) were assessed at the beginning and end of a one week yoga program. The Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), hand grip strength, rheumatoid factor, and C-reactive protein levels were assessed on the first and last day and compared using a t-test for paired data. All participants showed reduced disability scores of the HAQ and rheumatoid factor levels, with an increase in bilateral hand grip strength in male participants alone.
Conclusions: This single group study indicated that a brief intensive yoga program was beneficial in RA, with decreased disability, better functionality and changes in the rheumatoid factor levels suggesting improvement.