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.

Related Articles


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 December 18, 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 December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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