A pilot study of yoga treatment in children with functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome

Complement Ther Med. 2011 Jun;19(3):109-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 May 26.


Objectives: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of yoga exercises on pain frequency and intensity and on quality of life in children with functional abdominal pain.

Design: 20 children, aged 8-18 years, with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or functional abdominal pain (FAP) were enrolled and received 10 yoga lessons. Pain intensity and pain frequency were scored in a pain diary and quality of life was measured with the Kidscreen quality of life questionnaire (KQoL).

Results: In the 8-11 year old group and the 11-18 year old group pain frequency was significantly decreased at the end of therapy (p=0.031 and p=0.004) compared to baseline. In the 8-11 year group pain intensity was also significantly decreased at this time point (p=0.015). After 3 months there still was a significant decrease in pain frequency in the younger patient group (p=0.04) and a borderline significant decrease in pain frequency in the total group (p=0.052). Parents reported a significantly higher KQoL-score after yoga treatment.

Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that yoga exercises are effective for children aged 8-18 years with FAP, resulting in significant reduction of pain intensity and frequency, especially in children of 8-11 years old.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / pathology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Yoga*