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Yoga for chronic neck pain: a 12-month follow-up.

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Yoga for chronic neck pain: a 12-month follow-up.

Pain Med. 2013 Apr;14(4):541-8

Authors: Cramer H, Lauche R, Hohmann C, Langhorst J, Dobos G

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of a 9-week yoga intervention on chronic nonspecific neck pain 12 months after completion.
DESIGN: Twelve-month follow-up of the pooled data of both arms of a randomized, controlled trial.
SETTING: Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine at an academic teaching hospital.
SUBJECTS: Fifty-one patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain (mean age 47.8 years; 82.4% female).
INTERVENTIONS: A 9-week yoga group intervention.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Neck pain intensity (100-mm visual analog scale), functional disability (neck disability index), health-related quality of life (short-form 36 questionnaire, SF-36), generic disability (days with restricted activities), and global improvement.
RESULTS: From baseline to 12-month follow-up, pain intensity improved from 48.81?±?17.71 to 32.31?±?20.68 (P?<?0.001), neck-related disability decreased from 25.26?±?9.02 to 19.49?±?11.52 (P?=?0.001), and bodily pain in the SF-36 improved from 49.37?±?12.40 to 59.26?±?17.57 (P?=?0.005). Improvements in pain intensity were predicted by weekly minutes of yoga practice during the past 4 weeks (r(2) ?=?0.12, P?=?0.028); improved neck-related disability (r(2) ?=?0.24, P?=?0.001) and bodily pain (r(2) ?=?0.26, P?=?0.006) were predicted by regular yoga practice during the past 12 months. Generic disability did not decrease significantly. Twenty-four patients (68.6%) rated their health as at least somewhat improved.
CONCLUSIONS: A 9-week yoga intervention improved pain and neck-related disability for at least 12 months after completion. Sustained yoga practice seems to be the most important predictor of long-term effectiveness.

PMID: 23387504 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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