The effects of yoga on pain, fatigue, and catastrophizing in fibromyalgia

      Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic musculoskeletal pain condition that affects 2–4% of the, is characterized by anatomically widespread pain symptoms, and accompanied by fatigue, sleep and negative cognition. In patients with fibromyalgia (FM), catastrophizing is related to greater pain severity, amplified pain sensitivity, and higher anxiety. In the present study we explored the impact of yoga-based exercise over time on pain, fatigue, catastrophizing in patients with fibromyalgia. Participants rated FM symptoms including pain, as well as underwent psychosocial and psychophysical testing at baseline and then attended a 6-week yoga program, including group sessions and daily yoga videos. We used a diary-based micro-longitudinal design to examine the relationships between these variables in fibromyalgia patients. Patients completed daily surveys of fibromyalgia pain, symptoms, fatigue and catastrophizing for a period of 21 days (pre, mid and post yoga). Multilevel modeling (MLM) analyses indicated that, as expected, fibromyalgia pain (B = -.26, p < .001), fatigue (B = -.33, p < .01) and catastrophizing (B = -.04, P < .5) decreased over time. Interestingly, physical activity increased over time including yoga and non-yoga practices (B = .03 p < .001). Collectively, these findings are congruent with other studies showing that yoga can be effective in reducing pain, fatigue and negative cognitions on pain in fibromyalgia. These findings also suggest that physical exercise or yoga interventions may reduce negative pain-related cognitions, which is of particular benefit for fibromyalgia pain.
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