Faculty from  the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom conducted a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment option for any type of pain.

Seven databases were searched from their inception to February 2011. Randomized clinical trials were considered if they investigated yoga in patients with any type of pain and if they assessed pain as a primary outcome measure.

Ten randomized clinical trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteriam with methodological quality ranging between 1 and 4 on the Jadad scale. Nine RCTs suggested that yoga leads to a significantly greater reduction in pain over various control interventions, such as standard care, self care, therapeutic exercises, relaxing yoga, touch and manipulation, or no intervention. One RCT failed to provide between-group differences in pain scores.

The investigators conclude that yoga has the potential for alleviating pain.

Citation:  Posadzki P, Ernst E, Terry R, Lee MS. Is yoga effective for pain? A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2011 Oct;19 (5): pages 281-7. Epub 2011 Sep 8. [email protected]