Effectiveness of yoga therapy in the treatment of migraine without aura: a randomized controlled trial

Headache. 2007 May;47(5):654-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00789.x.


Background: Numerous studies have explored the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of migraine but there is no documented investigation of the effectiveness of yoga therapy for migraine management.

Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of holistic approach of yoga therapy for migraine treatment compared to self-care.

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Seventy-two patients with migraine without aura were randomly assigned to yoga therapy or self-care group for 3 months. Primary outcomes were headache frequency (headache diary), severity of migraine (0-10 numerical scale) and pain component (McGill pain questionnaire). Secondary outcomes were anxiety and depression (Hospital anxiety depression scale), medication score.

Results: After adjustment for baseline values, the subjects' complaints related to headache intensity (P < .001), frequency (P < .001), pain rating index (P < .001), affective pain rating index (P < .001), total pain rating index (P < .001), anxiety and depression scores (P < .001), symptomatic medication use (P < .001) were significantly lower in the yoga group compared to the self-care group.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated a significant reduction in migraine headache frequency and associated clinical features, in patients treated with yoga over a period of 3 months. Further study of this therapeutic intervention appears to be warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine with Aura / complications
  • Migraine with Aura / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Care / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*