Navigation Links
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain

Those who did it reported less discomfort, depression after six months

TUESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Practicing yoga can help ease chronic lower back pain, a new study shows.

Researchers divided 90 people, aged 23 to 66, who had mild to moderate functional disability as a result of back pain into two groups.

One group did 90-minute sessions of Iyengar yoga twice a week for six months. The other group continued whatever medical therapy or treatments they'd been doing.

At the three-month and six-month marks, a greater proportion of those who'd done yoga reported improvements in their pain and functioning as measured by questionnaires that asked about pain levels, difficulty performing physical tasks and pain medications being taken. Yoga participants also reported fewer symptoms of depression.

"The yoga group had less pain, less functional disability and less depression, compared with the control group," study author Kimberly Williams, a research assistant professor in the department of community medicine at West Virginia University, said in a statement. "These were statistically significant and clinically important changes that were maintained six months after the intervention."

The study is published in the September issue of Spine.

Iyengar yoga, a form of hatha yoga that's popular in the United States, builds strength, flexibility and balance by taking participants through a series of specific poses.

Dr. Todd J. Albert, chairman of the department of orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, said the study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was well-designed.

"I have found yoga and Pilates are great for chronic low back pain," Albert said. "There is so much concentration on core strengthening, which is critical for people who have been de-conditioned."

Lower back pain can cause people to stop exercising because of discomfort or fear of causing further injury to their back. The lack of activity can cause the back muscles to become "de-conditioned," or weakened, setting up conditions for even more chronic pain.

Exercises such as yoga help reverse the muscle weakness by strengthening muscles of the mid-section, including the back extensors, abdominals and gluteus, which are key for stabilizing the trunk and decreasing the load on the spine.

"Strengthening those muscles is like creating a brace around your torso," Albert explained.

Lower back pain represents between 20 percent and 25 percent of medical claims and exceeds $34 billion in annual direct medical costs, according to background information in the study.

Mary Lou Galantino, a professor of physical therapy at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, said the study confirms previous research about the benefits of yoga for helping with conditions as varied as menopause and osteoarthritis. Other research has shown that yoga can improve mood in women with breast cancer.

"There is so much data excitingly pointing to the physical, psychological and spiritual benefits of yoga," Galantino said. "I also believe there's a social aspect to yoga. It can foster a sense of community and overarching well-being."

Though strengthening the back is important, so are the spiritual and psychological aspects of yoga, including meditation and deep breathing, Galantino said.

"In order to have a holistic approach to one's well being, you want to get to the physical, the psychological, the emotional and the spiritual," said Galantino, a yoga instructor. "That is integrated care. If done with proper breathing, postures and meditation, yoga does all of that. You have to have all of the elements. If we westernize it and make it solely an athletic program, then you may not receive all of the benefits."

Though there are many causes of lower back pain, the culprit is often a herniated disc or arthritis. Though people suffering from back pain may worry that exercise could make the pain worse, it's not likely to as long as you don't overdo it, Albert said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on back pain.

SOURCES: Todd J. Albert, M.D., chairman, department of orthopedics, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the Rothman Institute, Philadephia; Mary Lou Galantino, PT, Ph.D., professor, physical therapy, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; September 2009 Spine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Combo Therapies to Lower Cholesterol Dont Work
2. Bextra Whistleblower Case Started Investigation of Pfizer
3. Sheller, P.C. Law Firm Instrumental in Pfizers $2.3 Billion Settlement Today in Largest Pharmaceutical Whistleblower Case in History
4. CVS Caremark Data Finds More than 50 Percent of Adults 45-years and Younger are not Adherent to Cholesterol Lowering Medications
5. Lose Weight, Lower Cholesterol, and Stay Healthy at School: Natural Solutions Magazine Shows You How
6. Better Pap Smear Follow-Up Needed Among Lower-Income Women
7. Post-treatment pain in head and neck cancer patients linked to recurrence, lower survival rate
8. Hillenbrand Reports 2.4% Decline in Earnings Per Share on 3.8% Lower Revenues in Third Quarter 2009
9. Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimers Risk
10. Breast-Feeding May Lower Breast Cancer Risk
11. Many Opt for Surgery to Lower Breast, Ovarian Cancer Risk
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain 
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the ... as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American ... function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no ...  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne ... needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: