Back pain is one of the top reasons that people take off work, and it keeps people from completely enjoying their life and doing many of their favorite activities. Fortunately, research shows that regular Yoga sessions may be an effective way to combat back pain.
101 adults with back pain were studied at Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. The benefits of Yoga, conventional therapeutic exercise, and the instructions from a popular back pain book were all assessed over a 12 week period.
One group practiced a gentle form of Yoga called viniYoga. The second group did standard therapeutic exercise classes taught by a physical therapist. The last group read a copy of The Back Pain Helpbook.
The participants who practiced Yoga for 75 minutes per week experienced the greatest increase in function. The Roland Disability Scale identifies how easily people can perform daily activities. 78 percent of the Yoga group jumped at least two points on the scale, in contrast to 63 percent of the exercise group and 47 percent of those who read the book.
Decreased Pain Medication
In addition to improved function, the group who practiced Yoga needed far less pain medication. 60 percent of the Yoga group were taking medication at the beginning of the study. By the end of the 12 weeks, only 21 percent of this group were taking pain medication. In the exercise group, the use of pain medication dropped minimally, while the group who read the book increased their medication from 50 percent to 59 percent.
Many people who regularly practice Yoga rave about the benefits they experience, including reduced pain. Yoga helps people to become more aware of how they move their bodies. It also stretches, aligns and oxygenates the body. However, there has been a lack of firm evidence to prove its validity in treating back pain.
Dr Sherman who led the study said: “Although exercise is one of the few proven treatments for chronic low back pain, its effects are often small and we haven’t known whether one form is better than another. So we designed a study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a gentle program of Yoga for people with this condition.”
Dr Sherman stressed that anybody interested in learning Yoga for relief of back pain should chose an experienced instructor.
Source: Written by Sheryl Walters, Reprinted from NaturalNews.com