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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Feb;95(2):139-51. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000408.

Effects of Yoga on Symptoms, Physical Function, and Psychosocial Outcomes in Adults with Osteoarthritis: A Focused Review.

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From the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (CC, JFW); and School of Social Work, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton (JP).


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent and disabling chronic condition. Because physical activity is a key component in OA management, effective exercise interventions are needed. Yoga is an increasingly popular multimodal mind-body exercise that aims to promote flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance. Its gentle approach is potentially a safe and effective exercise option for managing OA. The purpose of this focused review is to examine the effects of yoga on OA symptoms and physical and psychosocial outcomes. A comprehensive search was conducted using seven electronic databases. Twelve reports met inclusion criteria involving a total of 589 participants with OA-related symptoms. A variety of types, frequencies, and durations of yoga interventions were reported; Hatha and Iyengar yoga were the most commonly used types. Frequency of intervention ranged from once a week to 6 days a week. Duration of the interventions ranged from 45 to 90 mins per session for 6 to 12 wks. Yoga intervention resulted in reductions in pain, stiffness, and swelling, but results on physical function and psychosocial well-being were inconclusive because of a variety of outcome measures being used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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