If you suffer from low back pain, you may want to skip the pain relievers and try yoga for pain relief and increased back functioning.
A recent analysis of 12 studies encompassing more than 1,000 participants with lower back pain compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education.
Compared to no exercise, yoga may improve back-related function and may also reduce symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount in the first 6 to 12 months, according to an analysis published in the Cochrane Review.
The results also showed that yoga may cause an increase in back pain in some people. About 5% of yoga participants experienced increased back pain, although this may be similar to the risk of side effects from other back-focused exercise poses.
“Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount,” said review author Susan Wieland, MD, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “At the moment we only have low to moderate quality evidence for the effects of yoga before 6 months as a type of exercise for helping people with chronic lower back pain.”
She added that larger studies with longer follow-up studies are needed to confirm the long-term benefits of yoga for lower back pain.
Jonathan Block is MedShadow’s content editor. He has previously worked for Psychiatry Advisor, Modern Healthcare, Health Reform Week and The Pink Sheet.