October 19, 2017

Yoga or Therapy May Help Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic low back pain, you might be desperate for some sort of solution to the debilitating condition. Chronic low back pain is a widespread problem. According to WebMD, Americans spend over $50 billion each year on…

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Yoga or Therapy May Help Back Pain

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If you suffer from chronic low back pain, you might be desperate for some sort of solution to the debilitating condition.

Chronic low back pain is a widespread problem. According to WebMD, Americans spend over $50 billion each year on back pain. About 80 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.

There has been a lot of publicity touting the benefits of yoga and physical therapy for back pain relief, especially as doctors move away from painkillers as a solution.

But a recent study suggests aching consumers shouldn’t expect complete relief.

The study results showed that both yoga and physical therapy help some people some of the time, but they don’t work for everyone and the pain relief was not perfect.

According to the June 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 320 patients with persistent back pain were assigned either yoga, physical therapy or educational instruction on managing back pain.

After 12 weeks, about 48 percent of the yoga group had a ‘clinically meaningful’ improvement in their pain. The same was true for 37 percent of physical therapy patients. The study’s authors said the difference between the yoga and physical therapy results were not statistically significant and both therapies appeared to make some difference during a year’s time.

In an editorial accompanying the study, one of the authors, Dr. Stefan Kertesz of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, cautioned on overselling yoga as a solution. “The reality is, yoga was not a panacea for most of these patients.”

If you want to try yoga for your back, be sure you take a beginner’s class with gentle poses aided with chairs..

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