Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment option for any type of pain.
Method: Seven databases were searched from their inception to February 2011. Randomized clinical trials were considered if they investigated yoga in patients with any type of pain and if they assessed pain as a primary outcome measure. The 5-point Jadad scale was used to assess methodological quality of studies. The selection of studies, data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers.
Results: Ten randomized clinical trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria. Their methodological quality ranged between 1 and 4 on the Jadad scale. Nine RCTs suggested that yoga leads to a significantly greater reduction in pain than various control interventions such as standard care, self care, therapeutic exercises, relaxing yoga, touch and manipulation, or no intervention. One RCT failed to provide between group differences in pain scores.
Conclusions: It is concluded that yoga has the potential for alleviating pain. However, definitive judgments are not possible.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.