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OA10.04. Effectiveness of integrated yoga therapy in treatment of chronic migraine: randomized controlled trial


The present study was undertaken to evaluate whether an integrated yoga therapy program helps in reducing pain measures and depression in chronic migraine patients.


To test the effectiveness of an integrated yoga therapy program for chronic migraine treatment in a low cost, nonclinical setting, a prospective, randomized, controlled trial was conducted in Jaipur, India. Subjects aged 18 to 65 years with 15 or more headache days per month, at least half of which were migraine/migrainous headaches, were randomized 1:1 to either yoga therapy or standard management. Seventy men and women were randomly assigned. The intervention group went through individualized yoga treatment for 12-weeks with 4 consecutive therapeutic sessions a week. Each therapy session lasting for about 60 minutes focusing on strengthening, relaxation, releasing muscular tension and increasing self-efficacy. The control group consisted of standard care with the patient's physician. Outcome measures included self-perceived pain intensity, frequency, and duration; functional status; depression; prescription and nonprescription medication use. Outcomes were measured at the end of the 12-week intervention and at a 6-month follow-up.


Thirty-one of 35 patients from the intervention group and all 35 patients from the control group completed the study. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups before the intervention. Intention to treat analysis revealed that the intervention group experienced statistically significant changes in self-perceived pain frequency (p<.001), pain intensity (p=.001), pain duration (p<.001), functional status (p<.001), medication used (p<0.01) and depression (p<.001); these differences retained their significance at the 6-month follow-up.


Positive health related outcomes in chronic migraine can be obtained with a low cost, group, integrated yoga in a community based nonclinical setting.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sharma, P., Sharma, N. OA10.04. Effectiveness of integrated yoga therapy in treatment of chronic migraine: randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 12 (Suppl 1), O40 (2012).

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