Practice yoga to ease back pain
Anew study has uncovered yet another benefit of practicing yoga, finding that the ancient practice could help ease lower back pain, at least on a short-term basis.
Carried out by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) along with scientists from the University of Portsmouth in the UK and the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, the team reviewed 12 separate studies, which all looked at the effect of yoga on low back pain. The study included more than 1080 participants and looked at the effect of yoga, mainly Iyengar, Hatha, or Viniyoga, as well as the effect of a minimal intervention, such as education or physical therapy.
The team found that there was low to moderate quality evidence that at three and six months patients, who practiced yoga, benefitted from small to moderate improvements in backrelated function, as well as small improvements in pain.
However, because participants knew whether or not they were practicing yoga, their reports of any change in pain and functioning could have been affected by this knowledge, with selfreporting also subject to errors. Therefore, the researcher’s certainty was graded with moderate at best in an effort to reduce bias. When compared to non-yoga exercise, yoga performed around the same in terms of improving back function at three and six months, although there were very few studies to provide evidence on the effect of yoga compared to other exercise.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the team also found that performing yoga is associated with more adverse events than non-exercise methods, however it is not associated with serious adverse events.
The team concluded that although additional research is needed to build on the results of the study and provide more information on the long-term outcomes of yoga, the practice is still worth considering as a form of treatment for those with chronic non-specific low back pain.
The study can be found published in the online journal Cochrane Library.
The study included more than 1080 participants and looked at the effect of yoga, mainly Iyengar, Hatha, or Viniyoga