Yoga may bring images of flexible lean figures bending their bodies in all different directions. Therefore, yoga may not come to mind when it comes to a solution for back pain. However, research shows that yoga can soothe back pain as well as physical therapy.
According to the National Institutes of Health, yoga is a mind and body practice that involves physical postures, breathing techniques, as well as methods of meditation and relaxation. Yoga is good for improving muscle tone and strength, improving respiration, and reducing weight, among other things.
A recent study at Boston Medical Center looked at 320 patients that had persistent back pain for 12 weeks. The patients were assigned to either 12 weekly yoga classes, 15 physical therapy sessions, or a book on how to manage back pain. Nearly one-half of those who took yoga classes had “clinically meaningful” improvement. Also, 37-percent of physical therapy patients and 23-percent of book group patients, respectively felt similar improvement. The difference between the yoga and physical therapy results was not considered significant.
The lead researcher noted that both the yoga and physical therapy patients had pain relief for 12 months. However, he also suggests that not all forms of yoga are appropriate for those with back pain. The gentle yoga used in the study offered chairs and props. Therefore the study yoga was easy on the joints versus other types of yoga.
Yoga, however, is not effective for everyone with pain issues. Acupuncture, massage, or natural supplements such as Vita Science’s Relocane can also help relieve pain. Relocane contains natural ingredients such as turmeric and ginger that can decrease inflammation and help relieve minor aches, pains, and muscle cramps. Use this supplement by Vita Sciences as part of your daily health regimen to feel your best. However, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or exercise program.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN
American Osteopathic Association (accessed June 26. 2017) “The Benefits of Yoga” http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/yoga.aspx
Medline Plus (June 19, 2017) “Yoga Soothes Back Pain” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166742.html
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (August 26, 2016) “Yoga” https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga