Context and aims: Migraine is an episodic disabling headache requiring long-term management. Migraine management through Yoga therapy would reduce the medication cost with positive health benefits. Yoga has shown to improve the quality of life, reduce the episode of headache and medication. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of Yoga as an adjuvant therapy in migraine patients by assessing clinical outcome and autonomic functions tests.
Subjects and methods: Migraine patients were randomly given either conventional care (n = 30) or Yoga with conventional care (n = 30). Yoga group received Yoga practice session for 5 days a week for 6 weeks along with conventional care. Clinical assessment (frequency, intensity of headache and headache impact) and autonomic function test were done at baseline and at the end of the intervention.
Results: Yoga with conventional care and convention care groups showed significant improvement in clinical variables, but it was better with Yoga therapy. Improvement in the vagal tone along with reduced sympathetic activity was observed in patients with migraine receiving Yoga as adjuvant therapy.
Conclusions: Intervention showed significant clinical improvement in both groups. Headache frequency and intensity were reduced more in Yoga with conventional care than the conventional care group alone. Furthermore, Yoga therapy enhanced the vagal tone and decreased the sympathetic drive, hence improving the cardiac autonomic balance. Thus, Yoga therapy can be effectively incorporated as an adjuvant therapy in migraine patients.
Keywords: Autonomic functions; Yoga; conventional care; migraine.