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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Sep;57(9):1569-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02391.x. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Yoga decreases kyphosis in senior women and men with adult-onset hyperkyphosis: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Division of Geriatrics, Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 2339, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. ggreenda@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess whether a specifically designed yoga intervention can reduce hyperkyphosis.

DESIGN:

A 6-month, two-group, randomized, controlled, single-masked trial.

SETTING:

Community research unit.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred eighteen women and men aged 60 and older with a kyphosis angle of 40 degrees or greater. Major exclusions were serious medical comorbidity, use of assistive device, inability to hear or see adequately for participation, and inability to pass a physical safety screen.

INTERVENTION:

The active treatment group attended hour-long yoga classes 3 days per week for 24 weeks. The control group attended a monthly luncheon and seminar and received mailings.

MEASUREMENTS:

Primary outcomes were change (baseline to 6 months) in Debrunner kyphometer-assessed kyphosis angle, standing height, timed chair stands, functional reach, and walking speed. Secondary outcomes were change in kyphosis index, flexicurve kyphosis angle, Rancho Bernardo Blocks posture assessment, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

RESULTS:

Compared with control participants, participants randomized to yoga experienced a 4.4% improvement in flexicurve kyphosis angle (P=.006) and a 5% improvement in kyphosis index (P=.004). The intervention did not result in statistically significant improvement in Debrunner kyphometer angle, measured physical performance, or self-assessed HRQOL (each P>.1).

CONCLUSION:

The decrease in flexicurve kyphosis angle in the yoga treatment group shows that hyperkyphosis is remediable, a critical first step in the pathway to treating or preventing this condition. Larger, more-definitive studies of yoga or other interventions for hyperkyphosis should be considered. Targeting individuals with more-malleable spines and using longitudinally precise measures of kyphosis could strengthen the treatment effect.

PMID:
19682114
PMCID:
PMC3700806
DOI:
10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02391.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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