Exploring the Impact of Yoga on Peripheral Neuropathy: A Narrative Review

Mooventhan Aruchunan, MD (Naturopathy); Nivethitha Loganathan, PhD (yoga)

 

ABSTRACT

Background • Peripheral neuropathies constitute a diverse array of disorders impacting the peripheral nervous system. Despite extensive research on the therapeutic potential of yoga for various health conditions, its specific effects on peripheral neuropathy remain underexplored.

Objective • This review aims to comprehensively investigate the effects, including potential adverse events, of yoga on peripheral neuropathy.

Methods • A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed/Medline electronic database from inception to March 5, 2024. The search strategy involved a combination of relevant Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms and keywords related to peripheral neuropathy and yoga. The primary outcome measures assessed in the included studies were the improvement in symptoms and clinical indicators of peripheral neuropathy following yoga interventions. Out of 101 articles initially screened, 16 were considered eligible for inclusion in this review.

Results • The synthesized literature suggests that yoga may serve as a beneficial adjunct in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, lumbar disc herniation-induced neuropathy, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and Carpal tunnel syndrome. However, caution is warranted as reported instances of yoga asanas precipitate adverse events such as progressive glaucomatous optic neuropathy, bilateral sciatic nerve neuropathy, and acute loss of motor function due to acute ulnar neuropathy.

Conclusions • Yoga holds promise as an adjunctive therapy for the management of peripheral neuropathy. Nonetheless, discrepancies in sample size, type of yoga, and intervention duration across studies underscore the need for larger-scale investigations incorporating standardized long-term yoga interventions and objective outcome measures. To mitigate risks of adverse events, patients should practice yoga under the supervision and guidance of institutionally qualified yoga physicians. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2024;38(2):16-21.)

 

Mooventhan Aruchunan, MD (Naturopathy), Department of Research, Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. Nivethitha Loganathan, PhD (yoga), Department of Naturopathy, Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.

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