Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of yoga on balance and gait properties in women with musculoskeletal problems.
Design: Twenty-seven women (30-45 years old) with musculoskeletal problems, such as osteoarthritis and low-back pain, were included in the present study. The patients participated in 8 sessions (twice weekly for 4 weeks) of a yoga program which included asanas, stretching exercises, and breathing techniques.
Main outcome measures: Patients' static balance measurements and gait parameters were determined before and after the study using a stabilometer and a gait trainer, respectively.
Results: Post-study values of patients' gait parameters were found to be statistically higher than their pre-study values (p < 0.05) The values of patients' balance addressed anterior and right positions with patients' eyes open and subsequently closed pre-treatment. However, it was notable that balance post-treatment was minimal when subjects eyes were open or closed. Anterior-posterior values and right-left values were almost equal after treatment.
Discussion: The results showed that yoga has a positive effect on balance and gait parameters of women with gait and balance disturbances that are caused by musculoskeletal problems. It is feasible to conclude that asanas and stretching exercises included in the yoga program brought about such a positive effect, and therefore it is possible to use yoga programs to solve problems caused by musculoskeletal disorders.
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