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OHSU research suggests yoga can counteract fibromyalgia
Date:10/13/2010

PORTLAND, Ore 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. The research is being published in the November 10 online edition of the journal Pain and will appear online Thursday, Oct. 14.

"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, Ph.D., 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 this study, researchers enrolled 53 female study subjects previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The women were randomly assigned to two research groups. The first group participated in an eight-week yoga program, which included gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises and group discussions. The second group of women the control group received standard medication treatments for fibromyalgia.

Following completion of the yoga program, researchers assessed each study subject using questionnaires and physical tests. The results were then compared with testing results obtained prior to the yoga classes. The members of the control group underwent the same evaluations. In addition, each participant in the yoga group was urged to keep a daily diary to personally assess their condition throughout the entire program.

Comparison of the data for the two groups revealed 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
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Contact: Jim Newman
newmanj@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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