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Could Yoga Help Your Lower Back Pain?

Could Yoga Help Your Lower Back Pain?A new study suggests a weekly yoga class reduced the need for pain medications and is as successful in relieving lower back pain as twice-weekly sessions.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center studied the effect of weekly yoga in lower-income minority patients.

Investigators believe the study indicates that patients interested in trying yoga for lower back pain could benefit from attending a medically appropriate weekly yoga class.

The study, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was led by first author Robert Saper, M.D., M.P.H.

While previous studies have shown that yoga can be an effective treatment for chronic lower back pain, few studies have studied this among specific populations.

“Lower-income patients often have worse lower back pain due to limited access to both mainstream health care treatments and complementary treatments such as yoga, massage and acupuncture,” said Saper.

In this 12-week randomized trial, 95 predominantly low-income adults suffering from moderate to severe lower back pain were divided into two groups. One group attended yoga class once a week and the other attended twice a week, and both groups were encouraged to practice the poses and techniques at home.

At the end of the 12 weeks, both groups of participants experienced similar and substantial decreases in their pain level and need for pain medications, but there was no additional benefit seen in those attending twice a week.

Both groups’ ability to perform daily functions also significantly improved, according to the researchers.

“Given the similar improvement seen in once-weekly yoga classes, and that once a week is more convenient and less expensive, we recommend patients suffering from lower back pain who want to pursue yoga attend a weekly therapeutic yoga class,” said Saper.

Source: Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)

Could Yoga Help Your Lower Back Pain?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Could Yoga Help Your Lower Back Pain?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/07/06/could-yoga-help-your-lower-back-pain/56760.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.