Research: WILLIAMS and others,

Listed in Issue 119

Abstract

WILLIAMS and others, Dept. Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA, kwilliams@hsc.wvu.edu, have researched the effects of Iyengar yoga on chronic low back pain.

Background

The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of chronic low back pain in a group doing Iyengar yoga with an educational control group.

Methodology

42 subjects were primarily self-referred and were treated for 16 weeks with either Iyengar yoga or education about chronic pain. The primary outcome for the study was functional disability. Secondary outcomes included present pain intensity, the consumption of analgesic medication, pain-related attitudes and behaviours, and spinal range of motion.

Results

On average, the patients in this study reported less pain intensity at baseline than those in other, comparable studies. Multivariate analyses of outcomes indicated that significant differences between groups existed in functional and medical outcomes, but not for the psychological or behavioural outcomes. Univariate analyses of medical and functional outcomes revealed significant reductions in pain intensity (64%), functional disability (77%) and analgesic usage (88%) in the yoga group at the post treatment and 3-month follow-up assessments.

Conclusion

These results suggest that for patients with low to moderate chronic low back pain Iyengar yoga is of benefit.

References

Williams KA, Petronis J, Smith D, Goodrich D, Wu J, Ravi N, Doyle EJ Jr, Gregory Juckett R, Munoz Kolar M, Gross R, Steinberg L. Effect of Iyengar yoga therapy for chronic low back pain. Pain 115 (1-2): 107-117, May 2005.

Comment

This is an interesting result and one that needs to be communicated to primary health providers.

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