Yoga helps with back pain
“We found yoga classes more effective than a self-care book—but no more effective than stretching classes,” said study leader Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Dr. Sherman and her research colleagues looked at 228 adult subjects and studied them over 12 weeks. The groups were divided into yoga, self-help books, and stretching. At the end of the study, yoga proved to be more effective than self-help.
Both the yoga and stretching classes emphasized the torso and legs:
- The type of yoga used in the trial, called viniyoga, adapts the principles of yoga for each individual and physical condition, with modifications for people with physical limitations. The yoga classes also used breathing exercises, with a deep relaxation at the end.
- The stretching classes used 15 different stretching exercises, including stretches of the hamstrings and hip flexors and rotators. Each was held for a minute and repeated once, for a total of 52 minutes of stretching. Strengthening exercises were also included.
“We expected back pain to ease more with yoga than with stretching, so our findings surprised us,” Dr. Sherman said. “The most straightforward interpretation of our findings would be that yoga’s benefits on back function and symptoms were largely physical, due to the stretching and strengthening of muscles.”
If you have questions about what to do about your back pain, ask the experts at Innova Pain Clinic in St George. (435) 652-4322
Dr. Andrew White | St George Chiropractor
Back Pain St George Chiropractor
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