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Pain Med. 2013 Apr;14(4):541-8. doi: 10.1111/pme.12053. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Yoga for chronic neck pain: a 12-month follow-up.

Author information

1
Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany. h.cramer@kliniken-essen-mitte.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effects of a 9-week yoga intervention on chronic nonspecific neck pain 12 months after completion.

DESIGN:

Twelve-month follow-up of the pooled data of both arms of a randomized, controlled trial.

SETTING:

Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine at an academic teaching hospital.

SUBJECTS:

Fifty-one patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain (mean age 47.8 years; 82.4% female).

INTERVENTIONS:

A 9-week yoga group intervention.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Neck pain intensity (100-mm visual analog scale), functional disability (neck disability index), health-related quality of life (short-form 36 questionnaire, SF-36), generic disability (days with restricted activities), and global improvement.

RESULTS:

From baseline to 12-month follow-up, pain intensity improved from 48.81 ± 17.71 to 32.31 ± 20.68 (P < 0.001), neck-related disability decreased from 25.26 ± 9.02 to 19.49 ± 11.52 (P = 0.001), and bodily pain in the SF-36 improved from 49.37 ± 12.40 to 59.26 ± 17.57 (P = 0.005). Improvements in pain intensity were predicted by weekly minutes of yoga practice during the past 4 weeks (r(2)  = 0.12, P = 0.028); improved neck-related disability (r(2)  = 0.24, P = 0.001) and bodily pain (r(2)  = 0.26, P = 0.006) were predicted by regular yoga practice during the past 12 months. Generic disability did not decrease significantly. Twenty-four patients (68.6%) rated their health as at least somewhat improved.

CONCLUSIONS:

A 9-week yoga intervention improved pain and neck-related disability for at least 12 months after completion. Sustained yoga practice seems to be the most important predictor of long-term effectiveness.

PMID:
23387504
DOI:
10.1111/pme.12053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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