Yoga has long been hailed for its innumerable physical and mental health benefits now one of Britain's leading orthopaedic surgeons claims the ancient Indian practice is an effective natural remedy for osteoarthritis.
The condition, which causes painful degradation of the joints, is an incurable disease which affects a staggering ten million people in the UK.
Simon Moyes, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Wellington Hospital in London, said yoga is effective in slowing the onset of osteoarthritis.
Mr Moyes told the Express: “Yoga is very effective in maintaining healthy bones and joints and it helps improve symptoms such as stiffness. It makes you more relaxed and can reduce pain caused by stiffness around a joint.
"Yoga also helps improve flexibility and functioning of joints and therefore reduces the risk of injury, especially if the patient takes part in contact sports. We are seeing more and more 'high level' athletes such as professional footballers engaging in yoga to reduce their injury rates and risks.”
Mr Moyes' claim is backed by supporters of Yoga.
Aliona Salaru, founder of London-based Pure Flow Yoga and a former sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis - another common form of arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints - told the Express that yoga had helped combat symptoms of the disease.
“I started practising yoga over a decade ago when I was looking for natural ways to reduce the symptoms of my condition. My routine of daily yoga practice combined with a diet filled with healthy nutrition keeps my chronic arthritis at bay without requiring any medicine.
“Yoga practice is a safe weight-bearing activity which stimulates the bones to retain calcium and become stronger.
"In yoga practice the blood circulates freely to all joints giving a supply of nutrients and oxygen to the joints, helping to strengthen and increase flexibility in the joints.”
Ms Salaru said that specific yoga postures could also help decrease swelling in the joints by improving blood circulation.
"The practice of yoga can also reduce inflammation without the risks of wear and tear that other activities might carry. As yoga acts like an internal massage for the joints, and energy to flow freely to all areas of the body, creating space, flexibility and ease”, she added.