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Yoga as treatment for chronic pain conditions: a literature review
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2008, 00:00 authored by Subhadra EvansSubhadra Evans, S Subramanian, B Sternlieb
Yoga is a popular modality of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and yet a relatively small body of literature examines the efficacy of yoga in addressing health problems. This review details the existing studies on yoga for chronic health conditions associated with pain in individuals across the lifespan. Overall, there is compelling preliminary evidence about the beneficial aspects of yoga in addressing a variety of pain conditions including osteoarthritis, back pain, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome. Problematic to the literature as a body is the lack of detail offered by most researchers about the branch of yoga chosen, the specific postures employed, and the qualifications of yoga teachers in these studies. Also of issue is the typically small sample size as well as an absence of theoretical models to inform interventions and assessments. These shortcomings have conceivably impeded greater wide-scale replication and dissemination of yoga programs for health conditions. For people with chronic pain conditions, yoga offers a relatively low-cost and easily accessible CAM intervention and would likely be of public health benefit if studied more rigorously in the future. Copyright © Freund Publishing House Limited.