Yoga is just as effective against back pain as physiotherapy

Yoga is just as effective against back pain as physiotherapy

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Can special yoga exercises reduce back pain?
Back pain is a widespread illness that can be triggered by traumatic injuries or sitting for too long. Researchers have now found that special yoga exercises are just as effective in treating back pain as physiotherapy.

The researchers at the American College of Physicians found that yoga classes specifically designed for back pain fight back pain as safely and effectively as normal physiotherapy. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Annals of Internal Medicine".

Researchers study 320 subjects for their study
For their study, the experts examined 320 adults with chronic back pain. The subjects were assigned to either yoga classes or physiotherapy for a period of twelve weeks, the authors explain. The doctors noticed that after some time both groups experienced almost the same improvement in back pain. There was a third group in which the participants were taught to treat themselves with the help of self-help books. This group was called the education group, the researchers explain.

Pain relievers were rarely needed after three months
The improvements in pain and activity limitation in the yoga and physiotherapy groups were still noticed a year later. At that point, the effects of both types of treatment were very similar, the scientists say. However, after a period of only three months, yoga was no more effective in improving pain and activity than self-treatment with the help of books. However, there was another important difference: participants in the yoga classes and the physiotherapy group used rare pain relievers three months after starting treatment, compared to the so-called educational group, the study authors explain.

Chronic back pain often affects people on a low income
The study participants mostly came from low-income families. This factor is important because chronic back pain affects more than 10 percent of adults in the United States and has the greatest impact on people with lower socioeconomic status, the American scientists explain.

People with chronic back pain should do special yoga exercises
So far, many studies have examined yoga for back pain rather people with a normal to high income. "It was simply important to test whether yoga was well received by an underserved population and whether the courses were effective in combating back pain," the researchers emphasize. The results seem to speak for themselves. Painkillers are not a permanent solution for chronic back pain. However, those affected can significantly improve their condition through yoga exercises and physiotherapy. (as)

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