Tags: low | back | pain | yoga

Yoga: A Cost-effective Painkiller?

Monday, 20 August 2012 03:18 PM

Group yoga classes provide a cost-effective way to treat chronic or recurrent low back pain, according to the largest study ever conducted of the practice’s benefits.
The new research, led by the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research U.K., found a specially-designed 12-week group yoga program was more effective in reducing participants’ back pain and related time off from work than conventional care provided by a general practitioner.
The results, published in the journal Spine, suggest yoga may offer a cheaper and better way to ease chronic back pain for at least some patients than traditional medical treatment.

"Back pain represents a significant burden…to society as a whole. As well as the associated health care costs, it is also a major cause of work absenteeism which leads to a productivity loss to society,” said lead researcher David Torgerson.
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"While yoga has been shown as an effective intervention for treating chronic and low back pain, until now there has been little evidence on its cost effectiveness. In our study we evaluated a specially-designed yoga class package [and] we conclude that 12 weekly group classes of specialized yoga are likely to provide a cost-effective intervention for the treatment of patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain."
For the study, York researchers tracked two groups of people with chronic or recurrent back pain. The first group, involving 156 people, took group yoga classes specially designed to improve back function for three months; the second, including 157 people received conventional care alone.
The 12-week yoga program was delivered by 12 experienced yoga teachers.
Alison Trewhela, a yoga teacher who designed the program, said the findings suggest it could be a primary treatment option because it offers long-term positive outcomes and addresses the “bio-psycho-social nature” of chronic low back pain.
"Within its confidence-boosting, gradually-progressing environment, the gentle 'Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs' course addresses joint mobility, muscle-strengthening, emphasis on the breath, mental attitude to pain and perspective on life lessons, postural awareness and low back education, relaxation techniques, and advice about other potentially health-giving techniques and benefits," she said.
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Group yoga classes provide a cost-effective way to treat chronic or recurrent low back pain.
Monday, 20 August 2012 03:18 PM
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