Online Program

Pain medication use by participants in a yoga dosing study for chronic low back pain

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kaori Sato, MA, MPH, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston Medical Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Ekaterina Sadikova, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Julia Keosaian, MPH, Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities, Department of Family Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Robert Saper, MD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Objective: Prescription medications are the most commonly prescribed therapies for people suffering from acute and chronic lower back pain. In this study, we aim to understand the effects of once- and twice-weekly yoga on pain medication usage in participants suffering from chronic low back pain (cLBP).

Methods: The Yoga Dosing Study was a 12-week RCT comparing once- vs. twice-weekly standardized 75-minute hatha yoga classes for 95 adults with nonspecific cLBP. Recruitment and classes occurred at a large safety-net hospital and five affiliated community health centers. Primary outcomes measured at 12 weeks were average back pain intensity in the previous week (0-10), back-related function (Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire), and pain medication use (yes/no) during the previous week. We collected data on pain medication use, dosage and type (NSAID, opiate, acetaminophen, or other) during baseline, 6, and 12 week surveys.

Results: No statistically significant differences in overall pain medication use were found between the two groups at baseline (1x/wk= 71%, 2x/wk=74%). After 6 weeks, pain medication use decreased in both the once- and twice-weekly groups by 27% and 35%, respectively. There was a significant decrease in NSAID use in both groups. Opiate use decreased in both groups, but it was not significant. There was no significant difference in overall medication use between the 6 and 12 week survey dates.

Conclusions: Pain medication use decreased similarly in participants engaged in once- or twice-weekly yoga classes. Further analyses of specific doses used will be performed and presented.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Describe the literature on Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain and prescription use for chronic pain management. Assess the pain medicine results of a Yoga Dosing Study comparing once per week to twice per week yoga classes for chronic low back pain. Identify the benefits of yoga once- or twice-weekly on pain medication usage.

Keyword(s): Adult Health, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the presenter and assisted in preparing the manuscript
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.