Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not yoga therapy can help to decrease osteoarthritis-related pain in adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Study Design: A review of two randomized controlled trials and one randomized control trial pilot study that were published in English in peer-reviewed journals after 2007.

Data Sources: All articles were selected from peer-reviewed journals and found via PubMed.

Outcome(s) Measured: Patient perception of pain using either a Walking Numerical Rating Scale (WNRS) and/or a Western Ontario and McMaster Universities OA Index scale (WOMAC).

Results: All three studies found a significant decrease in pain levels among patients participating in a hatha yoga intervention as compared with those participating in alternate therapeutic programs and/or controls. In Ebnezar et al. the mean walking pain score after 90 days of yoga therapy reduced 64.88% from baseline (P<0.001), while the control group reduced 41.98% (P<0.001). The Cheung et al. 2017 study reported a decrease in WOMAC pain scores by 2.8 points as compared with a reduction of 1.2 amongst an Aerobics and Strengthening Exercise program group and an increase of 0.2 amongst an education control group (P<0.05). They also reported a significant difference in both WOMAC and visual analog pain score means adjusted for baseline at 8 weeks between the yoga and ASE interventions and between the yoga and control groups. The Cheung et al. 2014 RCT also found found a significantly lower (pvalue=0.01) mean self-reported WOMAC pain score in the yoga group as compared to a wait-list control group at 8 weeks.

Conclusions: The results of all three RCTs reviewed provides evidence that regular hatha yoga practice can reduce patient’s perception of knee osteoarthritis-related pain while actively engaged in a yoga program.