Between 66% and 75% of the population suffer from back pain, with 1% of these cases leading to chronic pain. A study from the Boston Medical Center comparing yoga and physical therapy for back pain treatment shows that yoga may prove just as effective. The study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that yoga may provide a worthwhile alternative.
Three hundred and twenty people with chronic lower back pain participated in the clinical trial. The volunteers, predominantly lower income, were separated into three groups. The participants either received yoga classes, physical therapy, or books on lower back pain. Unsurprisingly, the physical treatments produced better results than receiving information only. These improvements were observed over the 12 weeks of the study, as well as in the long term. After a year, participants who had received yoga classes or physical therapy experienced less pain and moved with more ease. This improvement was also demonstrated in the instance of pain medication use: PT and yoga reduced painkiller use by 20%.
Last modified: October 24, 2018