The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Yoga for rheumatic diseases

    Dr. Marian Garfinkel is clinical investigator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She’s written a review of yoga as a complementary therapy.

    Several diseases are covered, as well as background on yoga. Let’s focus on yoga and rheumatic disease.

    Actually, the available supporting data are limited to 2 studies: one in patients with osteoarthritis affecting the fingers, the other in people with carpel tunnel syndrome.

    When reading the outline below, keep this in mind. Patanjali, known as “The Father of Yoga,” defined yoga as “that which restrains the thought process and makes the mind serene.” He emphasized that yoga provides a psychological approach to healing the body and achieving self-realization.

    Osteoarthritis of the fingers

    • 17 patients were randomly assigned to yoga or no additional treatment beyond their drugs.
    • The yoga group reported significantly greater decreases in pain and tenderness and improved range of motion.
    • There were no differences in grip strength or joint circumference.

    Carpel tunnel syndrome

    • 42 people practiced yoga to strengthen, stretch, and balance joint forces.
    • A comparison group was offered a standard wrist splint.
    • The yoga group reported significant benefits in grip strength.
    • There was no difference in Tinel’s sign (tingling felt when the injury site was hit with a rubber hammer) or in nerve conduction times.

    The bottom line?
    The results of these small studies seem to support Patanjali’s view. Patients reported improvement, probably related to their psychological outlook. The improvement occurred in the absence of objective signs of any modification in the physical aspects of the condition being treated.

    7/15/07 20:26 JR

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