There have been a number of reports indicating that yoga is a good option for chronic low back pain. This report from National Institute of Health’s News In Health provides additional support that a structured yoga class may help relieve moderate to severe low-back pain and improve function. Of the 320 participants in the study, individuals were randomly assigned to one of the three following groups:
- 12 weekly yoga classes designed for individuals with low back pain
- 15 physical therapy (PT) sessions over 12 weeks
- Self-help book and newsletter how to deal with back pain
All three groups reported improvement, however the yoga and PT groups were more likely than the other group to stop taking pain relievers after a year.
Additionally, more than half of the participants were economically disadvantaged, a segment of the population disproportionately affected by chronic low back pain. Dr. Robert Saper, research team leader commented on this aspect of the study, “Therefore, we feel that it was important to test whether yoga would be received well by an underserved population as well as being effective.”