New research at Oregon Health and Sciences University suggests that yoga exercises can have the power to counteract fibromyalgia, a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain.
Research conducted at OHSU
According to new research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University, yoga exercises may have the power to combat fibromyalgia — a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain.
“Previous research suggests that the most successful treatment for fibromyalgia involves a combination of medications, physical exercise and development of coping skills,” said James Carson, a clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “Here, we specifically focused on yoga to determine whether it should be considered as a prescribed treatment and the extent to which it can be successful.”
In the study, researchers found that yoga appears to assist in combating a number of serious fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, fatigue, stiffness, poor sleep, depression, poor memory, anxiety and poor balance.
All of these improvements were shown to be not only statistically but also clinically significant, meaning the changes were large enough to have a practical impact on daily functioning. For example, pain was reduced in the yoga group by an average of 24 percent, fatigue by 30 percent and depression by 42 percent.
“Based on the results of this research, we strongly believe that further study of this potential therapy is warranted,” Carson said.
As an outcome of this study and Carson’s previous research showing yoga can be helpful with cancer-related pain, next June, OHSU will be sponsoring a training course for U.S. and Canadian yoga teachers who want to build their skills for working with individuals who have chronic pain.