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Arthritis Specialist

Cheryl Hurst, PsyD

Health Psychologist located in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Dr. Cheryl Hurst, a health psychologist and yoga instructor in Chicago, helps clients with arthritis overcome pain, stay active, and fight stress and anxiety through yoga therapy. Contact her today to learn how an individualized plan incorporating guided yoga movement can improve arthritis symptoms along with your psychological well-being.

Arthritis Q & A

How does arthritis affect your ability to move?

Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear type of disease that develops as cartilage breaks down. Cartilage serves as a protective cover at the end of bones, so as it gradually erodes, bones come into contact with other bones. The result is deep, aching pain and stiffness that make it hard to stay active. Sometimes painful bone spurs form, further interfering with normal joint movement and compounding the pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that begins in joints, but can also cause health problems throughout your body. In rheumatoid arthritis, tissues around the joint get inflamed and swollen, causing significant pain and making it difficult to use the joint. Over the years, joints can become deformed due to rheumatoid arthritis.

How can yoga relieve symptoms of arthritis?

Treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis focuses on relieving pain and maintaining the ability to move and use the affected joints. A supervised exercise program is the best way to achieve the goal. When you’re in pain, it may seem like exercise will make it worse, but activity actually improves arthritis pain significantly and allows for increased movement. Being sedentary has the opposite effect. When you don’t exercise, the pain and stiffness worsen, which make it even harder to get moving. This vicious cycle increases the chance that arthritis will lead to disability.

Yoga is a safe and effective way for people with arthritis to get physically active. Under the guidance of Dr. Hurst, you’ll stay active through gentle movements that gradually build strength, mobility, and flexibility. Yoga also improves circulation and creates more space in tight joints. For people with rheumatoid arthritis, yoga may even help reduce inflammation. All of this activity can significantly improve pain caused by arthritis, while boosting your general health.

What benefits will you gain from yoga therapy with Dr. Hurst?

Dr. Hurst offers holistic therapy, combining her expertise in psychology and yoga to support your physical, mental, and emotional needs.She offers yoga therapy in a step-by-step approach that starts with simple movement and moves forward at a pace that maximizes your ability without adding too much stress to your joints. People with arthritis often feel depressed or anxious from living with daily pain. Yoga therapy helps by relieving pain, then improve wellness going forward by facilitating deep relaxation and stress relief.

When you meet with Dr. Hurst, she’ll take the time to learn about your medical history, how arthritis impacts your daily life, and your current level of activity. Then she’ll work with you to develop an individualized program that:

  • Matches your physical ability
  • Adapts to accommodate your unique needs
  • Includes equipment and techniques to facilitate proper alignment and body mechanics