The effect of iyengar yoga and strengthening exercises for people living with osteoarthritis of the knee: a case series

Int Q Community Health Educ. 2006;26(3):287-305. doi: 10.2190/IQ.26.3.f.


This case series describes the impact of various forms of exercise on symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. A group of 15 women and men performed one of the following: traditional stretching and strengthening exercises, Iyengar yoga, or no structured group exercise. Low back and hamstring flexibility and quadriceps strength and function were monitored before and after the program. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) was used to assess subjective change after the six-week intervention period. A global assessment questionnaire was also completed by each participant and each instructor at the exit sessions to measure perceived changes in improvements since the initiation of the intervention. This study found functional changes and improvement in quality of life in traditional exercise and a yoga based approach that should encourage further comprehensive and carefully designed studies of yoga in osteoarthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Ontario
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*