Yoga as Good as Physical Therapy for Treating Lower Back Pain

By Lisa Franchi on June 23, 2017

Lower back pain affects around 60-80 per cent of the British population at some point and according to the NHS, it is the leading cause of disability. Often, the condition just subsides even without treatment. But sometimes, it lasts for longer, ranging from weeks to months and even years.

In a new study by the Boston Medical Centre, which involved 320 people with lower back pain, it was found that yoga can be as effective as physical therapy for treating lower back pain and helping sufferers get back to their normal life.

The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, is among the many studies which highlight the amazing benefits of this mind-body therapy. Previously, scientific studies suggest that yoga may help people suffering from mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

In the new study, it was found that yoga was twice as likely to improve the condition than simply doing back exercises – and also improved overall physical quality of life. According to the researchers, doing yoga exercises under guidance from an instructor can effectively reduce chronic lower back pain within six to 12 months.

’We found that yoga was as effective as physical therapy for reducing pain intensity and improving people’s physical function.’ said Dr Robert Sopa, one of the researchers.

’We found that patients doing the yoga in the study reported that their pain intensity went down, that they were able to be more physically active. A number of patients were able to reduce or stop pain medication.

’Our study shows that when yoga is made available and affordable to a diverse population, people of both sexes, people who are disabled, people of different races and economic backgrounds, are receptive to yoga and more importantly can benefit from it.’

Because yoga is something that can be practised practically anywhere – in the gym, at a studio, or at home – and can be learned easily by people of different ages, it can be a safe and inexpensive approach to treating lower back pain.

Source of this article: 

Yoga is just as helpful at treating lower back pain as physical therapy (and the benefits last a year)

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