Over the time it has been proved for a fact that exercises are helpful in curing ailments to a great extent. With the proper training and technique, isometric exercises can help treat the individual of chronic diseases as well. Yoga is the form of exercise that lets one look inside and hence starts controlling what is deep within. Yoga not only refreshes your body, it also reconciles everything which is knocked within the body.

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Radiation therapy is the doctor’s best tool for treatment of lethal syndromes like cancer, chest congestion, etc. It heals the disease successfully also, but each one of us is aware of the prolonged side effects a radiotherapy leaves on the individual. The ones who take radiation therapy for treatment of breast cancer in particular often end up with a vulnerable cardiac system, which means their heart, lungs, pericardium, lymphatic vessels and skeletal muscles all are at a risk of damage. However, there is nothing to worry about when you are yoga practitioner and if not then read the following article to find out how can yoga help in pericarditis.

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Pericarditis- What and Why?

Firstly, we need to understand what is pericarditis and why is it a danger. A twin tissue layered sac is present around the human heart so as to keep it intact and functioning well. This sac is called pericardium and its main motive is to protect the heart from knocks and jolts. In addition the pericardium keeps the heart lubricated and safe from other inflammations.

During or after cancer treatment, in many patients the pericardium fibrosis is observed, which is a case of radiation burn here. This is a scenario of secondary fibrosis right at lymphedema (lymph node excision). Radiotherapy has a nature of burning down the adjacent tissue when eradicating tumor cell. The pericardium is referred to as the fibrous sac of heart in medical terms, which in turn puts the at the risk of fibrosity after RT.

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Nonetheless of technology and perfection used while conducting a radiation therapy, pericardium always stays at stake of damage. Inflammation of pericardium sac is known as pericarditis usually. But in our context, it is called radiation induced constrictive pericarditis. Medically, the coagulated and fibrotic pericardium which restricts the heart from normal functioning is constrictive pericarditis.

Any ailment which causes the heart to function abnormally can and should never be taken lightly. Henceforth, pericarditis is also categorized as a lethal syndrome. Constrictive pericarditis has the potential to alter the blood flow in body resulting in organ impairment.

Can Yoga Help Pericarditis?

Can Yoga Help Pericarditis?

How yoga helps in recovery of pericardium? Mainly the yoga moves that lead to stretching of chest muscles shall be helpful for the pericardium. Some prime movements like spinal extension, arm raises with inhales, outward arm rotations and back bends cause the healthy movement of diaphragm. These all prove therapeutic for constrictive pericarditis. Fibrosis however is not reversible, it is a chronic one which can only be improved and loosened under normal situations. One thing to be considered for sure before starting on any of these yoga poses, never overwork on unhealthy muscles. Work on your poses only till the limit your body feels comfortable, as any muscle tear at this stage ought to be ignored.

The cat-cow pose and cat-child pose sequence is example of a typical viniyoga sequence. This will give a decent stretch to your chest and diaphragm. The well famed twist utkatasana, or say tiptoes sequence also proves helpful in giving a nice loosening effect along the spine. Correctly using breath retention as you move from one pose to the other, helps a lot to mobilize the cardiac muscles. Engaging the intercostal and serratus anterior muscles in between the yoga poses proves to be very useful in recovering the normal phase of pericardium.

If you have underwent any radiation therapy that caused pericardial sac’s dysfunctioning, then following some yoga into practice will be very beneficial truly.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 16, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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