An article from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that when yoga, when properly practiced, can help eliminate lower back pain.
“Current research suggests that a carefully adapted set of yoga poses may reduce low-back pain and improve function. Other studies also suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might improve quality of life; reduce stress; lower heart rate and blood pressure; help relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia; and improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility.”
“One NCCAM-funded study of 90 people with chronic low-back pain found that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga had significantly less disability, pain, and depression after 6 months. In a 2011 study, also funded by NCCAM, researchers compared yoga with conventional stretching exercises or a self-care book in 228 adults with chronic low-back pain. The results showed that both yoga and stretching were more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing symptoms due to chronic low-back pain. Conclusions from another 2011 study of 313 adults with chronic or recurring low-back pain suggested that practicing yoga for 12 weeks resulted in better function than usual medical care.”
The article on to say that “Yoga is generally low-impact and safe for healthy people when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor.”
The number of people practicing yoga also seems to be on the rise, as stated by a top government health information survey.
According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS, which included a comprehensive survey of complementary health use by Americans, yoga is the sixth most commonly used complementary practice among adults. More than 13 million adults practiced yoga in the previous year, and between the 2002 and 2007 NHIS, use of yoga among adults increased by 1 percent (or approximately 3 million people). The 2007 survey also found that more than 1.5 million children practiced yoga in the previous year.”
“Many people who practice yoga do so to maintain their health and well-being, improve physical fitness, relieve stress, and enhance quality of life. In addition, yoga is also used to address specific health conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and anxiety.”
Yoga is rapidly becoming a highly popular form of exercise. Classes are readily available in most communities. Clinical studies documenting the health benefits of yoga will only increase this trend. If you have lower back pain, or other physical ailments, ask your health care provider if yoga would be a good choice to improve your overall health.
For detailed information on the studies, see the full article.