A new study finds that a certain type of yoga relieves back pain. The yoga protocol, developed by researchers at the Boston Medical Center with the help of yoga teachers, doctors, and physical therapists, was a one-year study with participants of different races, background, with low income from the Boston Area. The conclusion of the study is that yoga helps relieve back pain by 50%.
How Yoga Relieves Back Pain – Study Background
During yoga class, trained instructors guide participants through poses such as cat-cow, triangle pose, and child’s pose as warm up poses. The study does not recommend difficult poses, such as inversions.
After the study ended, the findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. And they are in line with the new guidelines for treating back pain from the American College of Physicians.
The group of physicists that took part in creating the guidebook showing that indeed yoga relieves back pain recommends that people suffering from back pain should not take pain medicine. Instead, they should opt for tai chi, yoga, and therapeutic massage.
The group consisted of 320 racially diverse participants with low income that suffered from chronic low back pain. The participants were divided into 3 groups: those who took part in the yoga class, those who took part in physical therapy visits, and the third group that received an educational book and newsletters.
For the remaining year, participants in the yoga group either went to yoga classes or had the option of home practice. At the beginning of the study, 70% of the participants took pain medication in a form or another. At the end of the study, the percentage of those who took pain medicine dropped to 20%. As such, the conclusion is that yoga relieves back pain in 50% of cases.
However, the researchers clearly stated that not any yoga class would suffice. As such, they’ve printed a guidebook for practitioners of yoga with clear instructions regarding poses and other indications.
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