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- Büssing and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine the use of yoga for pain and pain-associated disability.
- Trials considered for inclusion in the meta-analysis were selected based on two outcomes: pain intensity/frequency and pain-induced disability.
- Of 23 potentially relevant studies, 16 were included as part of the meta-analysis
- Single-blinded and randomized (n=5), randomized without blinding (n=7), nonrandomized controlled (n=4)
- Number of subjects enrolled ranged from N=12 to N=291; one study included >100 subjects
- Most studies included subjects aged ≤50 years
- Studies examined yoga for treatment of back pain (n=6), rheumatoid arthritis (n=2), headache/migraine (n=2), and other conditions (n=6).
- Studies were considered short-term (≤4 weeks; n=4), medium-term (6-10 weeks; n=7), or long-term (12-24 weeks; n=5) and examined pain intensity and frequency (n=12) and pain-related disability (n=12).
- Positive effect observed in favor of yoga interventions in all studies
- Overall treatment effect of yoga for pain (based on random effect meta-analysis): standardized mean differences (SMD): -0.74 (confidence interval [CI]: -0.97; -0.52, P<0.0001)
- Range of effect sizes: -0.20 ± 0.31 to -1.34 ± 0.40
- Larger effects seen in studies that had higher methodological quality and passive wait list control; studies that examined healthy subjects also demonstrated larger effects
- Overall treatment effect of yoga for pain-related disability (based on random effect meta-analysis): SMD = -0.79 (CI: -1.02; -0.56, P<0.0001)
- Range of effect sizes for single studies: -0.33 ± 0.24 to -1.40 ± 0.33
- Strongest effects seen in shorter studies vs longer studies
Büssing A, Ostermann T, Lüdtke R, Michalsen A. Effects of yoga interventions on pain and pain- associated disability: a meta-analysis. J Pain. 2012;13(1):1-9.