Chair yoga helps older adults manage osteoarthritis pain

December 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—Chair yoga may produce sustained improvements in pain interference among older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Juyoung Park, Ph.D., from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and colleagues randomly assigned 131 community-dwelling to chair yoga (66 participants) or a health education program (65 participants). Both interventions included twice-weekly, 45-minute sessions for eight weeks. At baseline, mid-, end of intervention, and one and three months after the intervention, measurements were taken for pain, pain interference, balance, gait speed, fatigue, and functional ability.

The researchers found that the chair yoga group showed greater reduction in pain interference during the intervention (P = 0.01), which was sustained through three months (P = 0.022). In the yoga group, pain (P = 0.048), gait speed (P = 0.024), and fatigue (P = 0.037) were improved during the intervention (P = 0.048), but improvements were not sustained after the intervention. Patients participating in chair yoga exhibited no difference in balance measurements.

"Chair yoga should be further explored as a nonpharmacologic intervention for older people with OA in the lower extremities," the authors write.

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