The National Institutes of Health estimate that 25.3 million American adults suffer from daily pain, a condition more common with aging, affecting quality of life as well as productivity. This pilot study investigated whether chair yoga (CY) improves chronic pain in home care patients and reduces the need for opioids. Methods: Participants were patients of Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice (VNHH), a home healthcare agency serving the state of Rhode Island, and identified as having chronic pain. Upon consent, a pre-intervention survey was conducted assessing previous yoga exposure, baseline demographics, perceived pain, and prescription pain medications. Seven homebound patients consented to CY participation. Participants engaged in 15-60 minutes of one-on-one chair yoga over six weeks tailored to individual ability levels. A post-survey was conducted after the final CY session assessing identical measures as the pre-survey. Paired t-test was used to assess statistical significance of data collected. Results: The average perceived pain utilizing analog scale was rated 7.71 out of 10 initially. After six weeks of CY intervention, the average pain score decreased by 4.5 (7.33 v. 2.83, p = 0.01). No patients reported adverse effects or increase in pain during the intervention period. Further, no patients required an increase in pain medication during or after the CY intervention. Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrates a role for complementary alternative medicine in home care patients with chronic pain. Low-risk routines such as CY offer an accessible option that may complement traditional therapies for patients that are unable to leave their homes.
Published Date: 2021-01-16; Received Date: 2020-11-04