The Effect of a Stretch and Strength-Based Yoga Exercise Program on Patients with Neuropathic Pain due to Lumbar Disc Herniation

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2022 May 15;47(10):711-719. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004316. Epub 2022 Jan 11.


Study design: Randomized controlled trial.

Objective: To investigate the effect of a stretch and strengthbased yoga exercise program on neuropathic pain due to LDH.

Summary of background data: LDH with neuropathic pain influences treatment outcomes negatively. Most yoga poses include the parameters of spinal training and help reduce pain and disability in patients with low back injuries. We hypothesized that yoga positively affects both LDH and neuropathic pain by increasing mobilization, core muscle strength, and spinal and hamstring flexibility.

Methods: In total, 48 patients with neuropathic pain due to LDH were randomly assigned to a control group and a yoga group. All patients underwent a patient education program. In addition, the selected yoga exercise was taught and performed to the yoga group for one hour twice weekly for 12 weeks. Neuropathic pain (Douleur Neuropathique 4 for diagnosis; Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs for severity), low back pain (the short-form of McGill Pain Questionnaire), disability (Oswestry Disability Index), and function (modified Schober and passive knee extension test) were measured blind before and at the one-, three-, and six-month follow-ups. The patient global assessment was applied at the six-month followup. The intention-to-treat analysis was performed in this study.

Results: The intention-to-treat analysis showed a statistically significant difference in neuropathic pain, patient global assess ment, low back pain, disability, and function in favor of the yoga group at post-treatment. The between-group effect sizes were moderate at six-months follow-up.

Conclusion: It was determined that the selected stretch and strength-based yoga exercise could be a promising treatment option for neuropathic pain due to LDH.

Level of evidence: 2.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement* / complications
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement* / therapy
  • Low Back Pain* / therapy
  • Muscle Strength
  • Neuralgia* / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia* / etiology
  • Neuralgia* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*