Yoga has helped me manage chronic neck pain. Now I feel like Wonder Woman, strong and ready to fly, and have become a yoga proselytizer. To strengthen my case as yoga ambassador, I continue to search for unassailable, scientific, randomized proof that yoga is good medicine. Unfortunately, I can’t find it. [There may be a yogic lesson in this but that is not the point of this post.]
This point of this post is to share a NYT blog post which reviews a recent survey of studies on yoga for management of chronic and acute pain. The report, in which a team of researchers sifted through 10 randomized clinical trials involving hundreds of patients, concluded that, while yoga has the potential for alleviating pain, a definitive (scientific) judgement is not yet possible.
Why is a judgement not yet possible? I can’t say. The report says that 9 of the 10 studies suggest that yoga does lead to “a significantly greater reduction in pain than various control interventions such as standard care, self care, therapeutic exercises, relaxing yoga, touch and manipulation, or no intervention.” Nine out of ten sounds pretty good to me.
I can’t access the report (and am happy for that, because then I’d have to read the thing) to read the details so I will throw my hands up, continue to search, and do more yoga.