Yoga May Provide Relief for Low Back Pain

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

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is MedShadow's content editor. He has previously worked for Psychiatry Advisor, Modern Healthcare, Health Reform Week and The Pink Sheet.

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