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Back Health Can Be Improved By Yoga

Back Health Can Be Improved By Yoga

A research study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found a twelve-week yoga regimen for adults with chronic or recurring low back pain improved back function better than standard care did. 313 adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain were included in the study. 156 used the twelve-week yoga program for their back pain, and 157 received standard care.

“Our results showed that yoga can provide both short- and long-term benefits to those suffering from chronic or recurrent back pain, without any serious side effects,”  said the study’s lead author, Helen E. Tilbrook. (Source: USA Today)

The yoga group had better back function than the standard care group at months 3, 6, 9 and 12, meaning the improvement they experienced was more than just a short-term effect. The yoga program was twelve classes with a gradual increase in difficulty over 3 months. Each yoga participant also received an education pamphlet so they could read about the poses they were doing. Of the 156 in the yoga group, 12 reported adverse events, meaning they reported an increase in pain. Two in the standard care group reported increased pain

One possible explanation for the 12 who reported adverse events with yoga, is that for some reason the yoga program had 12 different teachers, and for beginners it might be confusing to have that number of instructors, because of the differences in teaching styles and yoga types. Another possibility is the varying levels of commitment depending on the individual, as some people are more open-minded and willing to try new things. These individuals could have experienced more benefit, whereas the less interested and less committed would not have embraced the new experiences with the same attentiveness and effort.

Primary funding for the study came from Arthritis Research UK. A study conducted in 2005 on yoga and back pain, also found doing yoga could be beneficial.

Image Credit: Trollderella

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Read more: Fitness, Health, Healthy Aging, Yoga

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42 comments

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1:58AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Thank you.

6:03PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Wow, great info ~ Thank you!

8:41AM PDT on Apr 17, 2013

Child's pose and Happy baby pose would also help a lower back problem. My husband has this from a hockey injury and it helps him a lot.

9:47PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Yoga is very good exercise for body pains and for mind activities. Your Back bone pain tip is absolutely right.

3:12PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Thank you.

4:49AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Thanks.

4:35PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

I have done yoga off and on for over 30 years. As I got older, the physical work I was doing as a CNA, lifting patients, turning them in bed (dead weight), and bathing them , took it's toll on my back. Returned to different Yoga classes, and hurt more..........I will try Ann's comment and try the Dahn Yoga, ........that is after my epidural injection to help releive daily chronic pain. Wish me luck..

3:13AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Ahhh one more thing to thank India for - the invention of yoga! The thing about yoga is that there are SO many variations on it, and it is important for each person to find the variation that works for them. There are some extreme variations of it that should only be practiced cautiously, and often there are yoga poses that are contraindicated depending on the type of illness you already have. Thanks for sharing!

4:10PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

I stopped doing yoga and ran and just did the machines and low and behold the back acted up. Stretching works. Standing on your head may not be for everybody though.

6:57PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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