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J Pain. 2012 Jan;13(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Effects of yoga interventions on pain and pain-associated disability: a meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Center for Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Herdecke, Germany. arndt.buessing@uni-wh.de

Abstract

We searched databases for controlled clinical studies, and performed a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of yoga interventions on pain and associated disability. Five randomized studies reported single-blinding and had a higher methodological quality; 7 studies were randomized but not blinded and had moderate quality; and 4 nonrandomized studies had low quality. In 6 studies, yoga was used to treat patients with back pain; in 2 studies to treat rheumatoid arthritis; in 2 studies to treat patients with headache/migraine; and 6 studies enrolled individuals for other indications. All studies reported positive effects in favor of the yoga interventions. With respect to pain, a random effect meta-analysis estimated the overall treatment effect at SMD = -.74 (CI: -.97; -.52, P < .0001), and an overall treatment effect at SMD = -.79 (CI: -1.02; -.56, P < .0001) for pain-related disability. Despite some limitations, there is evidence that yoga may be useful for several pain-associated disorders. Moreover, there are hints that even short-term interventions might be effective. Nevertheless, large-scale further studies have to identify which patients may benefit from the respective interventions.

PERSPECTIVE:

This meta-analysis suggests that yoga is a useful supplementary approach with moderate effect sizes on pain and associated disability.

PMID:
22178433
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpain.2011.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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