Authors: A Wren, M Wright, J Carson & F Keefe
- Derived from the Sanskrit verb “yug” which means to bind or join, the term yoga has traditionally referred to the unification of the mind and body for the promotion of health. Commonly advocated for its potential effect on painful conditions and in light of our knowledge of pain as an entity that cannot exist without the presence of the brain, recent research has examined the role yoga may play in painful conditions. Recognizing its comprehensive two-way nature, appreciating this role seems less than difficult.
- This paper reviewed 9 of 13 randomized control trials (RCTs) that examined the efficacy of yoga for persistent pain. Several of these existing studies have looked at its physiological, behavioural, and psychological effects on carpal tunnel syndrome, hand osteoarthritis, low back pain, fibromyalgia, and other chronic (including that associated with cancer) pain conditions. Significant reductions in pain, physical disability, depression, medication, fatigue, and sleep disturbance were found. Although certain outcome measures between experimental and control groups were also found insignificant, the therapeutic role of specific forms of this ancient practice management of persistent-painful conditions was no less than apparent.
Wren AA et al. (2011). Yoga for persistent pain: New findings and directions for an ancient practice. Pain. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.11.017