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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Effect of Iyengar Yoga Therapy on Chronic Low Back Pain

Kimberly Williams, PhD1, David J. Smith, PhD2, David Goodrich, MS3, Maria Munoz Kolar, MD4, N Noerachmanto, MA MSC1, Gregory Juckett, MD MPH5, John J. Petronis, MS, PT6, Lois A. Steinberg, PhD7, and Neelima D. Ravi, MBBS, MPH1. (1) Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, PO Box 9820, Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506, (304) 293-7559, kwilliam@hsc.wvu.edu, (2) Biochemistry/Pharmacology, West Virginia University, PO Box 9142, Morgantown, WV 26506-9142, (3) Sport & Exercise Psychology, West Virginia University, 275 Coliseum, PO Box 6116, Morgantown, WV 26506-6116, (4) Department of Medicine, West Virginia University, PO 9160 Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, WV 26505, (5) Family Medicine, West Virginia University, PO Box 9247, Morgantown, WV 26506, (6) Department of Human Performance, Division of Physical Therapy, West Virginia University School of Medicine, PO Box 9226, HSC-S, Morgantown, WV 26506, (7) BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute of Champaign-Urbana, 407 W. Springfield Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Low Back Pain is a significant public health problem and one of the most commonly reported reasons for the use of complimentary alternative medicine. A randomized control trial was conducted in subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain (CLBP) comparing Iyengar yoga therapy to an educational control group. Both interventions were 16 weeks long. The primary outcome was functional disability. Secondary outcomes included present pain intensity, pain medication usage, pain-related attitudes and behaviors, pain tolerance and spinal range of motion. Outcomes were measured before and after the interventions with reliable and valid questionnaires, a pressure algometer, and an inclinometer. Subjects had CLBP for 11.2 + 1.54 years and 48% used pain medication. Of the 57 subjects enrolled, 42 (74%) completed the study. Analysis of covariance that controlled for baseline score indicated that subjects in the yoga therapy group had significant improvements in study outcomes compared to the control group at the post and three-month follow-up assessments. These include a 77% reduction in functional disability (P=.005), 64% decrease in present pain intensity (p=.018), 25% increase in perceived control over pain (p=.005), 10% increase in standing hip flexion (p=.015) and 16% increase in pain tolerance of the left quadratus lumborum muscle (p=.016). Pain medication usage was also significantly reduced in the yoga group compared to the control group (88% vs 35% either stopped or used less; p=.002). These preliminary data indicate that the majority of self-referred persons with nonspecific CLBP will comply to and report improvement on pain-related outcomes from Iyengar yoga therapy.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Managing Chronic Pain with Alternative and Complementary Health Practices

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA