Yoga and Back Pain

News Notes

By Jenny Good

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, April/May 2006.

Yoga and Back Pain

In a first-of-its-kind study conducted by Group Health Cooperative’s Center for Health Studies, yoga proved more valuable against low-back pain than other types of exercise. Published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the study involved 101 adults who suffered from low-back pain. Participants were randomly placed into one of three groups. Group 1 included adults who attended 12 weekly, 75-minute yoga classes. Group 2 included adults who attended 12 weekly, 75-minute sessions of aerobic, strengthening, and stretching activities. Group 3 included adults who received a self-help book on back pain.

After three months, those in the yoga class were more physically capable to perform back-intensive activities. After six months, back function again increased and less pain was felt. Group 1 also reported a decrease in pain medication.