Yoga as effective against back pain as physiotherapy
Back pain is a common disease that can be triggered for example by traumatic injury or sitting too long. Researchers have now found that special yoga exercises are just as effective in treating back pain as physiotherapy.
The scientists from the American College of Physicians found out that specially designed for back pain yoga classes as reliably and effectively fight back pain, as a normal physiotherapy. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "Annals of Internal Medicine".Permanent back pain is a big burden for those affected. Physicians are now studying whether special yoga exercises can be effective in treating back pain. (Image: WavebreakMediaMicro / fotolia.com)
Researchers are studying 320 subjects for their study
For their study, the experts examined 320 adults with chronic low back pain. Subjects were assigned either yoga classes or physiotherapy for a period of twelve weeks, the authors explain. The physicians noticed that both groups experienced almost the same improvement in back pain after some time. There was a third group where participants were taught to treat themselves with the help of self-help books. This group was referred to as the education group, the researchers explain.
Painkillers were less often needed after three months
The improvements in pain and activity limitation in the yoga and physiotherapy groups were noted one year later. At that time, the effects of both types of treatment were very similar, say the scientists. After just three months, however, yoga was not more effective at improving pain and activity than self-treatment with the help of books. However, there was another important difference: participants of the yoga classes and the physiotherapy group used three months after the start of the treatment of rare analgesics, compared to the so-called educational group, explain the authors of the study.
Chronic back pain often affects people on a low income
Most of the study participants were from low-income families. This factor is very important because chronic back pain affects more than ten percent of adults in the US and has the greatest impact on people with lower socioeconomic status, say the American scientists.
People with chronic back pain should do special yoga exercises
So far, many studies of yoga in back pain have been more likely to target people with a normal to upper income. "It was just important to test whether yoga is well received by underserved populations and whether the courses are effective in combating back pain," the researchers emphasize. The results seem to speak for themselves. However, analgesics are not a permanent solution for chronic back pain. Those affected can significantly improve their condition through yoga exercises and physiotherapy. (As)