Yoga-Based Relaxation Technique Facilitates Sustained Attention in Patients with Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study

Dwivedi Krishna, PhD; Singh Deepeshwar, PhD; Bharati Devi, PhD



Context • The experience of pain strongly influences sustained attention, which is important for neurocognitive performance. Yoga-based relaxation techniques may be effective in improving sustained attention by attenuating pain in patients with low back pain. Hence, we aimed to investigate the effect of a yoga-based relaxation technique on sustained attention and self-reported pain disability in patients with low back pain.

Methods • A total of 22 men aged 30 to 50 years with low back pain were recruited for the study. They were randomly assigned to either the yoga (n = 11) or control (n = 11) groups. The yoga group practiced a yoga-based relaxation technique (YBRT) 1 hour a day for 4 weeks and the control group maintained their usual physical activity regimen. Assessments included the Sustained Attention to

Response Task (SART) and the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (OLBPDQ) measured before and after the 4-week intervention.

Results • The study showed a significant reduction in all self-reported OLBPDQ domains and improvement in sustained attention in a before and after comparison 4 weeks following the yoga intervention. Pearson’s correlation also showed a positive correlation between sustained attention and pain reduction following the yoga intervention.

Conclusion • The findings indicate that yoga practice reduces pain and simultaneously improves information processing speed with impulse control during the performance of a sustained attention task.  (Adv Mind Body Med. 2020;34(3):11-17.)

Dwivedi Krishna, PhD; Singh Deepeshwar, PhD, Associate Professor; Bharati Devi, PhD, Assistant Professor; Department of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore, India




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