Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. It is a natural, safe, and effective way to treat chronic pain in the lower back.

More people trying yoga

You may have noticed that yoga has become much more popular in recent years. That’s actually backed up by surveys sponsored by Yoga Journal in 2008 and 2012. In just four years, the number of American adults participating rose 29%, from 15.8 million to 20.4 million. The industry has matched pace, with the market expanding from $5.7 billion to $10.3 billion over that same period. What’s more, 44% of those who don’t do yoga currently are curious about trying it.

This form of exercise is particularly common with women. In fact, among the poll respondents who said they do practice yoga, there were more than four times as many women (82% versus 18% of the group). However, it’s important to note that everyone can benefit, especially those with chronic pain.

Yoga for chronic lower back pain

When performed correctly, yoga can serve as a form of therapy to alleviate pain and improve biomechanical function in people with long-established lower back pain, indicates a 2009 study from Spine. This type of chronic pain “is notoriously difficult to treat,” notes Harvard Women’s Health Watch. “Yoga has shown promise in treating the condition.”

The research published in Spine look at the health impact of Iyengar yoga (a form that uses props such as blocks and belts to assist in performing traditional poses). The results of the study show just how powerful yoga is in the lives of practitioners.

Health improvement findings

The study conducted at West Virginia University looked at the effectiveness of yoga for treating chronic pain in the lower back. Of the 90 people participating in the study, half practiced yoga twice a week for six months. The other half was a control group that did no yoga.

After six months, the reported improvement from the yoga group was substantially better than the control:

·      Function – 29% better

·      Pain rating – 42% better

·      Depression – 46% better.

Furthermore, participants tended to stick to yoga. “Six months after the trial ended, 68% of the yoga group were still practicing yoga,” says Harvard Women’s Health Watch, “on average, three days a week for at least 30 minutes.”

Team approach to treatment

Are you experiencing chronic lower back pain? At Health Star Clinic, our responsible approach to treatment avoids surgery and minimizes prescription medication reliance through a team approach combining chiropractic and physical medicine. See our promises to you.