- For migraine, a 3-month yoga intervention added to usual medical therapy was linked to reduced headache frequency, disability, and intensity in this randomized controlled trial.
- Participants also reported less use of rescue medication.
Why this matters
- Medical therapy for migraine has limited efficacy and involves adverse effects and high costs.
- At 3 months, in comparing decreases between groups, add-on yoga vs medical therapy alone was linked to steeper mean reductions (delta differences [95% CIs]) in:
- Monthly headache days: 3.53 (2.52-4.54).
- Headache intensity on an 11-point scale: 1.31 (0.60-2.01).
- Headache Impact Test-6 score: 8.0 (4.78-11.22).
- Migraine Disability Assessment score: 7.85 (4.98-10.97).
- Monthly rescue pill count: 2.28 (1.06-3.51).
- Yoga also netted a greater percentage of patients free from headache (no use of acute medication):
- 12.28% vs 0% (P=.006).
- Number needed to treat: 8.
- Randomized controlled CONTAIN trial in India among 160 adults aged 18-50 years with episodic migraine and meeting the following criteria:
- 4-13 headaches monthly.
- With or without aura.
- Stable migraine prophylaxis, if taken.
- Randomization: open-label medical therapy alone vs medical therapy plus yoga intervention.
- Yoga intervention:
- 1 month of supervised yoga 3 days/week at an integrated medicine center.
- 2 months of continuation, 5 days/week at home.
- Main outcomes: headache measures on blinded assessment.
- Funding: None.
- Single center.
- No sham yoga group.
- Generalizability, durability of benefit unknown.