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The Fitness Zone

Yoga better than medical advice for back pain
November 28, 2011

The largest UK study of its kind has found that practicing yoga has greater overall health outcomes for those with low back pain than seeking the advice of a doctor.

A team of scientists from the University of York studied a group of over 300 people who were experiencing recurrent or chronic back pain and seeing a doctor for treatment. Half of the study participants were then assigned to a yoga group and the other half continued to only see their doctors.

The study authors reported that after three months the yoga group was able to perform 30% more activities such as walking quickly, getting dressed and standing for longer than the non-practitioners. As for levels of pain, the yoga group reported insignificantly lower levels of pain than the control group.

Lead investigator professor David Torgerson said: Back pain is an extremely common and costly condition. Exercise treatment, although widely used and recommended, has only a small effect on back pain. Our results showed that yoga can provide both short and long-term benefits to those suffering from chronic or recurrent back pain, without any serious side-effects.

Source: The Annals of Internal Medicine

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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