Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is yoga therapy effective in reducing chronic lower back pain in adults.”

Study Design: Systematic review of 2 randomized controlled trials (RCT), 1 randomized clinical trial, published after January 2017, and in English language.

Data Sources: Both RCTs and the randomized clinical trial were published in peerreviewed journals, found through the PubMed database, and were selected based on relevance to the clinical question and if outcomes were patient oriented (POEMS).

Outcome(s) measured: All 3 studies measured pain, using a variety of pain measurement scales such as the Brief Pain Inventory, Numeric Rating Scale for pain, and the Defense and Veterans pain rating scale (24-hour pain with functional statements).

Results: Groessl et al. found a significant difference in pain reduction after 12 weeks of yoga therapy when compared to a delayed treatment group (p-value <0.005), however in those completing yoga therapy, after 12 weeks there was no significant decrease in pain (1.0 point) with an average of -0.61 and a CI of (-0.94, -0.28) (Am J Prev Med. 2017;53(5):599–608. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2017.05.019). Kuvačić et al demonstrated that there were significant differences in pain reduction between the pamphlet control and yoga therapy groups (p-value <0.001) and within each group during post-testing (Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018;31:262-267. Highland et al found a clinically significant difference in post treatment pain after RESTORE yoga compared to treatment as usual (p-value .001) (Arch Phys Med Rehabil.2018;99(1):91-98.

Conclusion: This EBM review demonstrates that yoga therapy is an effective treatment option for patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP), especially when compared to other traditional treatment options. However more research needs to be done to evaluate the within group and long term effects of yoga therapy.