Long C, Ye J, Chen M, et al. Effectiveness of yoga therapy for migraine treatment: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. Am J Emerg Med. 2022 May 2;58:95-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.04.050. (Systematic review)

INTRODUCTION: Yoga therapy may have some potential in treating migraine, and thus this meta-analysis aims to explore the efficacy of yoga therapy for patients with migraine.

METHODS: PubMed, EMbase, Web of science, EBSCO and Cochrane library databases have been systematically searched and we included the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting the efficacy of yoga therapy for migraine patients. The outcomes included.

RESULTS: This meta-analysis included six RCTs. The results revealed that compared with control group for migraine, yoga therapy was associated with remarkably decreased pain intensity (SMD = -1.21; 95% CI = -2.17 to -0.25; P = 0.01), headache frequency (SMD = -1.43; 95% CI = -2.23 to -0.64; P = 0.0004), headache duration (SMD = -1.03; 95% CI = -1.85 to -0.21; P = 0.01), HIT-6 score (SMD = -2.28; 95% CI = -3.81 to -0.75; P = 0.003) and MIDAS score (SMD = -0.52; 95% CI = -0.77 to -0.27; P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Yoga therapy may be effective to treat migraine patients, but it should be recommended with caution because of heterogeneity.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

This review is very light on methods. The results have very high heterogeneity and are based on a small number of very small studies. The difference in pain intensity favoring yoga is smaller than what is generally considered clinically relevant. While recommending yoga seems like an extremely low-risk intervention, this literature is barely worth acknowledging.

Physician rater

Evidence is not very solid due to the small number of patients included in the meta-analysis, mainly Asian, and the high heterogeneity. Given the importance of the topic, it would be useful to carry out further studies.
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