Yoga for chronic pain management: a qualitative exploration.

Author: Tul Y, Unruh A, Dick BD.
School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Conference/Journal: Scand J Caring Sci.
Date published: 2010 Nov 8
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00842.x. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 214

Scand J Caring Sci; 2010 Yoga for chronic pain management: a qualitative exploration Objective:  To explore patients' perceptions of their pain while participating in a weekly yoga program. Methods:  A consecutive convenience sample was recruited from a Multidisciplinary Pain Centre. Seven adult patients (six women), agreed to participate in an 8-week Hatha yoga program, including weekly group sessions and at-home practice. Data were gathered from participant observation and in-depth interviews. Interviews explored the experience of practicing yoga and its relationship to the participant's pain experience. An inductive analysis of the interviews explored emergent themes from participants' descriptions of their experience. Results:  Analyses identified three themes: renewed awareness of the body; transformed relationship with the body in pain; and acceptance. Discussion:  Participants' data suggested that they reframed what it meant to live with chronic pain. Some participants reported that the sensory aspects of pain did not change but that pain became less bothersome. They were better able to control the degree to which pain interfered with their daily life. Other participants reported less frequent or less intense pain episodes because they could recognize body signals and adjust themselves to alleviate painful sensations. The findings suggest that patients who benefit from yoga may do so in part because yoga enables changes in cognitions and behaviours towards pain.