Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Note: This paper is behind a paywall. Hopefully it would include additional
information on the type of yoga used. There are many different forms
ranging from gentle stretching (Hatha) to far more strenuous forms.
Increased function was found for fibromyalgia patients, however impact on
psychosocial issues isn't listed in the abstract as significant

Musculoskeletal Care. 2013 Jan 9. doi: 10.1002/msc.1042. [Epub ahead of

Yoga for Functional Ability, Pain and Psychosocial Outcomes in
Musculoskeletal Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Ward L, Stebbings S, Cherkin D, Baxter GD.


Centre for Physiotherapy Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of
Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



Musculoskeletal conditions (MSCs) are the leading cause of disability and
chronic pain in the developed world, impacting both functional ability and
psychosocial health. The current review investigates the effectiveness of
yoga on primary outcomes of functional ability, pain and psychosocial
outcomes across a range of MSCs.


A comprehensive search of 20 databases was conducted for full-text,
randomized controlled trials of yoga in clinically diagnosed MSCs.


Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria, involving 1,626 participants
with low back pain (LBP), osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
kyphosis or fibromyalgia. Studies were quality rated, and analysed for the
effect of yoga on primary outcomes, immediately post-intervention. Twelve
studies were rated as good quality.

Yoga interventions resulted in a clinically significant improvement in
functional outcomes in mild-to-moderate LBP and fibromyalgia, and showed a
trend to improvement in kyphosis (excessive outward curvature of the spine,
causing hunching of the back).

Yoga significantly improved pain in OA, RA and mild-to-severe LBP.
Psychosocial outcomes were significantly improved in mild-to-moderate LBP
and OA.

Meta-analysis of good-quality studies showed a moderate treatment effect
for yoga of -0.64 (95%CI -0.89 to -0.39) for functional outcomes and -0.61
(95%CI -0.97 to -0.26) for pain outcomes.


Evidence suggests that yoga is an acceptable and safe intervention, which
may result in clinically relevant improvements in pain and functional
outcomes associated with a range of MSCs. Future analysis of outcomes which
take into account the amount of yoga received by participants may provide
insight into any putative duration or dosage effects of yoga interventions
for MSCs.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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