Ecological Momentary Assessment of the Relationships between Sleep Affliction, Neuroendocrine Response, and Allodynia in Fibromyalgia Patients: The Impact of Daily Yoga Based Exercise (Asana)
Daily yoga-based exercise and meditation can improve pain and FM symptoms, sleep disturbance and psychosocial function in patients with fibromyalgia.
After initial screening and enrolment of 38 subjects, 28 patients completed the program (74%), each of whom served as their own control before and after intervention.
Inclusion criteria: age 18–75, FM diagnosis for > 6 months (Wolfe criteria*3), average daily pain score of 4/10 or greater, at least mild degree of sleep disturbance (PSQI score > 5), not currently engaged in rigorous physical exercise routine, stable dose of medications, access to a computer or tablet at home, and proficiency with e-mail.
Visit 1: Informed consent, self-report questionnaires designed to assess pain, sleep quality, and psychosocial function.
Demographics, Health History, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), PROMIS short forms for anxiety and sleep disturbance, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a measure of fatigue (VAS 0-10), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) the FFMQ (Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR) Quantitative sensory testing (QST): Temporal summation of pinprick pain, temporal summation of leg cuff pain, distraction analgesia, pressure pain threshold, conditioned pain modulation, and cold pain ratings.
Satyananda Yoga Program: Subjects attended a 6-week Satyananda Yoga program specifically adjusted for chronic pain patients.
Each weekly in person session lasted approximately 1.5 hours, including asana, pranayama, yoga nidra, meditation.
Subjects were then sent a daily 30-minute yoga video for practice at home.
Ecologic Momentary Assessment: During 3 weeks (before yoga, week 2 of yoga, and week 6 of yoga) subjects were asked to participate in a more intensive data collection, including:
saliva samples 3x daily to assess cortisol awakening response, upon wakening, actiwatch to assess sleep function, and twice daily completion of electronic symptom diaries (via Redcap) to assess their day-to-day pain experiences, fatigue, anxiety, stress and sleep.
Visit 2: After completing the 6 weeks of daily exercise, subjects underwent the same testing as in Visit 1 (QST and psychosocial variables via questionnaire completion).
Statistics: Paired sample t-test was used to compare pain, FM symptom, and PCS scores between baseline and post-yoga. Independent sample t-test was used to compare groups. Pearson Correlation was calculated to determine association between variables.
This preliminary analysis of our pilot study on yoga intervention in FM patients suggests that there is a modest overall improvement in reported daily pain on electronic pain diaries, although mixed results on the BPI and FIQR.
•There was substantial variability in adherence to the goal of daily home yoga practice, but those who were able to practise >25 min/day showed greater improvement in their pain.
•The impact of the yoga program on catastrophizing was also variable, but those who improved in terms of catastrophizing also showed decreases in reported FM symptoms.
•Further analysis of the full sample will further investigate the impact of yoga-based exercise on stress responses and sleep, and whether this is related to changes in pain and other symptoms in FM.
•Further analysis will also explore which patient characteristics can predict individuals who will gain most from yoga-based exercise.