Yoga for arthritis: a scoping review

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2011 Feb;37(1):33-46. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


This article reviews the existing literature on using yoga for arthritis. It includes peer-reviewed research from clinical trials (published from 1980 to 2010) that used yoga as an intervention for arthritis and reported quantitative findings. Eleven studies were identified, including 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 4 non-RCTs. All trials were small and control groups varied. No adverse events were reported, and attrition was comparable or better than that typical for exercise interventions. Evidence was strongest for reduced disease symptoms (tender/swollen joints, pain) and disability and for improved self-efficacy and mental health. Interventions, research methods, and disease diagnoses were heterogeneous.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Arthritis / diagnosis
  • Arthritis / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / psychology
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / psychology
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peer Review, Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*