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Altern Complement Ther. 2013 Jun;19(3):139-146. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Effects of Meditation on Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis.

Author information

1
Clinical research program manager in the department of epidemiology at West Virginia University School of Public Health in Morgantown, West Virginia, and is a clinical assistant professor at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, in the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.
2
Associate professor in the department of epidemiology at West Virginia University School of Public Health, and a clinical associate professor at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate changes in knee pain, function, and related indices in older adults with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, following an 8-week meditation program.

METHODS:

Eleven community-dwelling adults with physician- confirmed knee OA were enrolled in the study. Core outcomes included recommended measures of knee pain (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] and 11-point numeric rating scale [NRS]), function (WOMAC), and perceived global status (patient global assessment). Additional outcomes included: perceived stress; stress hardiness; mood; sleep; and sympathetic activation. Following baseline assessment, participants were trained briefly in mantra meditation and instructed to meditate for 15-20 minutes twice daily for 8 weeks, and to record each practice session on a daily log. Changes over time were analyzed using paired t-tests.

RESULTS:

Nine participants (82%) completed the study. Participants had statistically significant improvements in all core outcomes: knee pain (WOMAC: 47.7% ± 25.1% reduction, P = 0.001; NRS: 42.6% ± 34.6% reduction, P < 0.01); function (44.8% ± 29.9, P = 0.001); and global status (45.7% ± 36.5, P = 0.01); as well as knee stiffness (P = 0.005), mood (P = 0.05), and a WOMAC proxy for sleep disturbance (P = 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings from this pilot study suggest that a mantra meditation program may help reduce knee pain and dysfunction, as well as improving mood and related outcomes in adults with knee OA.

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