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13 September 2016 : Clinical Research  

A Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess Pain and Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based (MRI-Based) Structural Spine Changes in Low Back Pain Patients After Yoga Practice

Shirley TellesADEF, Abhishek K. BhardwajBCEF, Ram K. GuptaBC, Sachin K. SharmaBC, Robin MonroABF, Acharya BalkrishnaAG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.896599

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:3228-3247

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The present study aimed at determining whether 12 weeks of yoga practice in patients with chronic LBP and MRI-based degenerative changes would result in differences in: (i) self-reported pain, anxiety, and spinal flexibility; and (ii) the structure of the discs or vertebrae.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-two persons with MRI-proven degenerative intervertebral discs (group mean ±S.D., 36.2±6.4 years; 30 females) were randomly assigned to yoga and control groups. However, testing was conducted on only 40 subjects, so only their data are included in this study. The assessments were: self-reported pain, state anxiety, spinal flexibility, and MRI of the lumbosacral spine, performed using a 1.5 Tesla system with a spinal surface column. The yoga group was taught light exercises, physical postures, breathing techniques, and yoga relaxation techniques for 1 hour daily for 3 months. No intervention was given to the control group except for routine medical care. A repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc analyses (which was Bonferroni-adjusted) was used. The Ethics Committee of Patanjali Research Foundation had approved the study which had been registered in the Clinical Trials Registry of India (CTRI/2012/11/003094).

RESULTS: The yoga group showed a significant reduction in self-reported pain and state anxiety in a before/after comparison at 12 weeks. A few patients in both groups showed changes in the discs and vertebrae at post-intervention assessment.

CONCLUSIONS: Within 12 weeks, yoga practice reduced pain and state anxiety but did not alter MRI-proven changes in the intervertebral discs and in the vertebrae.

Keywords: Anxiety - therapy, Disability Evaluation, Low Back Pain - therapy, Pain Management - methods, Pain Measurement - methods, self report, Spine - physiology, Yoga

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750