Aim: This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of addition of integrated yoga therapy to therapeutic exercises in osteoarthritis (OA) of knee joints.
Materials and methods: This was a prospective randomized active control trial. A total of t participants with OA of knee joints between 35 and 80 years (yoga, 59.56 ± 9.54 and control, 59.42 ± 10.66) from the outpatient department of Dr. John's Orthopedic Center, Bengaluru, were randomly assigned to receive yoga or physiotherapy exercises after transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment of the affected knee joints. Both groups practiced supervised intervention (40 min per day) for 2 weeks (6 days per week) with followup for 3 months. The module of integrated yoga consisted of shithilikaranavyayama (loosening and strengthening), asanas, relaxation techniques, pranayama, meditation and didactic lectures on yama, niyama, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, and karma yoga for a healthy lifestyle change. The control group also had supervised physiotherapy exercises. A total of 118 (yoga) and 117 (control) were available for final analysis.
Results: Significant differences were observed within (P < 0.001, Wilcoxon's) and between groups (P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test) on all domains of the Short Form-36 (P < 0.004), with better results in the yoga group than in the control group, both at 15(th) day and 90(th) day.
Conclusion: An integrated approach of yoga therapy is better than therapeutic exercises as an adjunct to transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment in improving knee disability and quality of life in patients with OA knees.
Keywords: Knee disability; SF-36; osteoarthritis; yoga.