Study: Yoga May Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 15 (UPI) — Fibromyalgia patients may benefit from a comprehensive yoga program, U.S. researchers suggest.

James W. Carson of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland led a study of a yoga program tailored to address the symptoms of fibromyalgia, which include muscle and joint pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and emotional distress versus standard care.

The study, published in Pain, finds women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvements on standardized measures of symptoms and functioning, including pain, fatigue, mood and demonstrated better coping strategies.

“Although yoga has been practiced for millennia, only recently have researchers begun to demonstrate yoga’s effects on persons suffering from persistent pain,” Carson says in a statement. “The findings of this pilot study provide promising preliminary support for the beneficial effects of yoga in patients with fibromyalgia.”

The yoga program included 40 minutes of gentle stretching poses, 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation, 10 minutes of breathing techniques, 20 minutes of didactic presentations on the application of yogic principles to optimal coping and 25 minutes of group discussions of experiences while practicing yoga.

Carson and colleagues had 53 women age 21 and older diagnosed with fibromyalgia for at least one year randomly assigned to either the yoga program or standard care.

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