Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yoga Is More Effective Than Conventional Exercise For Back Pain, Group Health Study Finds

Date:
January 3, 2006
Source:
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Summary:
Yoga appears to be more effective for low back pain than conventional exercise or getting a self-care book about the condition, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at Group Health Cooperative's Center for Health Studies and published in the December 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Yoga appears to be more effective for low back pain than conventional exercise or getting a self-care book about the condition, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at Group Health Cooperative's Center for Health Studies and published in the December 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study involved 101 adults with low back pain who were randomly assigned to one of three groups.

  • One group attended 12 weekly, 75-minute classes to learn yoga and practiced at home.
  • A second group attended 12 weekly, 75-minute sessions of aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercise, plus home practice.
  • A third group received a self-care book on back pain.

After 12 weeks, the patients in the yoga group were better able to do daily activities involving the back than were the patients in the exercise or education groups. After 26 weeks, the patients in the yoga group had better back-related function and less pain. Also, fewer people in the yoga group used pain relievers.

"Most people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives," explained Karen Sherman, PhD, a Group Health researcher and the lead author of the study. "Sometimes the pain goes away in a few days, but sometimes it lasts for weeks. And unfortunately, the treatments offered by modern Western medicine are only modestly effective."

Current treatments for low back pain include pain relievers--such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), painkillers, and muscle relaxants--and exercise.

"Although exercise is one of the few proven treatments for chronic low back pain, its effects are often small and we haven't known whether one form is better than another," Sherman added. "So we designed a study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a gentle program of yoga for people with this condition."

While it's estimated that about one million people currently practice some form of yoga for relief of back pain, questions about yoga's value for this condition have persisted. Sherman's study, which is the largest randomized controlled trial to date, helps to prove its effectiveness.

The yoga students in Sherman's study learned 17 poses from viniyoga, a style that's easy to learn and typically allows poses to be adapted for use by various body types.

People interested in learning yoga for relief of low back pain should choose an instructor who is experienced working with students who have this condition, Sherman recommended.

###

Her study was funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Other researchers on the study were Group Health's Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD; Janet Erro, RN; and Diana Miglioretti, PhD; and University of Washington Professor of Medicine Richard A. Deyo.

About Group Health Cooperative's Center for Health Studies
Group Health is a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that coordinates care and coverage. Based in Seattle, Group Health and its subsidiary health carriers, Group Health Options, Inc. and KPS Health Plans, serve more than 590,000 members in Washington and Idaho. Group Health's Center for Health Studies conducts research related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of major health problems. The Center for Health Studies, funded primarily through government and private research grants, is the lead site for the Cancer Research Network.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. "Yoga Is More Effective Than Conventional Exercise For Back Pain, Group Health Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102123733.htm>.
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. (2006, January 3). Yoga Is More Effective Than Conventional Exercise For Back Pain, Group Health Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102123733.htm
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. "Yoga Is More Effective Than Conventional Exercise For Back Pain, Group Health Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102123733.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins