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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Uddhab Khadka
Uddhab Khadka4 years ago

Thank you.

Beverly M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Wow, great info ~ Thank you!

Yvonne H.
Yvonne H.4 years ago

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.

Jenifer Mosis
Jenifer Mosis4 years ago

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

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

Thank you.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago


Marianne Barto
Marianne B5 years ago

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..

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

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!

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski5 years ago

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.

Zee Kallah
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you.