Yoga Linked To Better Balance, Improved Quality of Life for Stroke Sufferers
Suffering a stroke can result in loss of mobility and balance that can last long after the stroke. A recent study suggests that performing yoga on a regular basis may help improve balance and general quality of life for chronic stroke survivors, even after they've stopped rehabilitative care.
Two-thirds of the participants in the study participated in yoga while one-third did not participate in any yoga rehabilitation. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted improved balance in the yoga groups but not the non-yoga group. They also noted improved scores in independence and quality of life measures.
In total, forty-seven individuals, three-quarters of whom were male, participated in the study. All had suffered from a stroke in the past 6 months and were able to stand on their own at the beginning of the study.
Over the course of 8 weeks, they participated in one of three interventions:
1. Yoga twice weekly
2. Yoga-Plus - yoga twice weekly and a relaxation tape to be used three times a week
3. No yoga rehabilitation
Despite the positive results seen here, the researchers were quick to note that more research with a larger and more diverse participant group needs to be conducted in order to definitively determine the effect of yoga on stroke rehabilitation.
The researchers were based at the Roudebush Veterans Administration-Medical Center and Indiana University. Their results were published online ahead of print on July 26, 2012, in the journal Stroke.
Practicing yoga has also been linked to better quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia, a long term disease that results in pain all over a person’s body. Yoga not only strengthens the body, it also relaxes the mind and may help reduce anxiety.