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Mind-Body Intervention for Diabetic Neuropathy: A Pilot Study on Yoga's Effects on Muscle Strength, Proprioception, Fear of Falling, Pain, and Quality of Life.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week yoga intervention on muscle strength, proprioception, pain, concerns about falling, and quality of life in individuals diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.

METHODS: A quasi-experimental design incorporating a pretest-posttest methodology and a control group was implemented in the present study. A total of 30 patients who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy were recruited and randomly assigned to intervention ( n = 15) or non-exercise control ( n = 15). Yoga sessions were conducted for a duration of 60 min on three occasions per week, with participants requested to practice at home on other days.

RESULTS: The results showed significant main effects of time on the muscle strength (both flexor and extensor muscles, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.652 and p < .001, ηp2 = 0.539, respectively), proprioception error ( p < .001, ηp2 = 0.807), pain intensity ( p < .001, ηp2 = 0.538), concerns about falling ( p < .001, ηp2 = 0.700), and overall score of quality of life ( p < .001, ηp2 = 0.475). Moreover, there were significant group-by-time interactions for all variables ( p < .001 for all).

CONCLUSION: The study reveals that yoga intervention can be an effective alternative therapeutic approach to medication for individuals with diabetic neuropathy. Yet, future studies are needed on a larger sample size to strengthen the present understanding of the advantageous impact of yoga intervention in this population.

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