Yoga exercises and stretching can stop back pain
Study shows yoga and stretching to be an effective remedy for chronic lower back pain.
A new study researching the effect of yoga classes and stretching on people with chronic lower back pain has found virtually no difference between the activities, but that they both have some effectiveness in improving function.
Got back pain? Try yoga exercises.
The research suggests that yoga is not a uniquely effective treatment for lower back pain, but that doesn't mean the exercise is useless, it simply means that any kind of stretching and breathing exercises, which certainly includes yoga, can have a positive effect on an individual suffering from chronic lower back pain.
For this study, 228 adults with long-term chronic back pain were divided into three groups. The first two groups were sent either to weekly yoga or stretching classes for a dozen weeks and were told to practice on their own when they weren't in class. The third group was given a book filled with pain related exercise and advice and information on how to manage episodes of pain.
After 12 weeks, the people that attended the classes reported significantly less pain and increased function, then those with the books. Participants completed questionnaires from which the results were obtained.
The questionnaires rated the "disability" level of each patient on a scale of 0 to 23 with 23 being the worst. Researchers found that around 12 weeks, the exercise groups had reduced their disability scores from an average of 10 to between four and five. Those who received the book, only dropped to a seven.
Also, those who took the classes explained that their pain had diminished or was gone. About 60 percent of the people in the yoga group said their pain diminished while 46 percent in the stretching classes said their pain diminished. Only 16 percent of the people who read the book, said their pain diminished.
Results of the study should encourage people with moderate to mild lower back pain to consider exercise as an alternative to expensive drugs or treatment. Even if drugs or treatment become necessary, exercise is still recommended as a means alleviating some degree of the pain, and maintaining function.
The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Those with severe back pain were not included in the study, so the findings do not apply to that group.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: yoga, stretching, chronic back pain, lower back, exercise
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