Fibromyalgia and Yoga

A recent article from the USA Today cited a small study of 53 women who suffered from fibromyalgia and the effects of yoga. In the study, 25 of the women enrolled in a two-hour yoga class that met once a week for eights weeks. The other 28 women in the study were asked to continue their personal routine of dealing with the chronic pain condition.

When the study was completed, the women who took the yoga class reported improvement in both their physical and psychological aspects of the condition. As the USA Today article states, these improvements included:

  • decreased pain
  • fatigue
  • tenderness
  • anxiety
  • better sleep
  • better mood

Quote from the USA Today article:
“The women were somewhat apprehensive when we started, but once they got into the rhythm of it they found it to be very helpful. They came back after the first week reporting less pain, better sleep and feeling encouraged for the first time in years. That type of change continued to build over the course of the program.”

– James Carson, a clinical psychologist and pain specialist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland

It is worth noting that the yoga classes the women took in the study were tailored to their needs and the usual yoga class may be too intense for those suffering from the condition. The study’s yoga class consisted of the following:

  • 40 minutes of gentle stretching and poses
  • 25 minutes of meditation
  • 10 minutes of breathing techniques
  • 20-minute lesson on applying yoga principals to daily life and coping with fibromyalgia
  • 25 minutes of group discussion.

The findings of this study were published in the Pain Journal. View the press release from the study by clicking here.

*Photo courtesy of lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons.