Lower back pain is one of the most commonly experienced medical conditions. It’s been estimated that eight out of ten adults will suffer through this discomfort at least once in their lifetime.
Though we have all heard people complain about lower back pain, it is only once it strikes that you can truly appreciate the way it affects the quality of life. People search for answers to the pain and loss of mobility from all quarters, including through medication, medical treatments and various forms of exercise.
When the lumbar spine is out of alignment due to illness, injury or overuse, there are certain stretches and movements that can provide relief, and a recent study out of Boston Medical Center has shown that yoga is one of the best alternatives to physical therapy. A study of 320 adults who had previously been identified as having severe to moderate chronic lower back pain showed that those who participated in a three-month-long yoga program derived the same benefit as those who had pursued a course of physical therapy treatments over the same period of time.
The researchers split the 320 patients into three separate groups. The control group was not involved in any active treatment: instead, they read self-help books about back pain, as well as newsletters. They also were able to access telephone support. The second group was provided with 15 one-hour physical therapy sessions over the 90-day period, and the third was provided 90-minute yoga classes on a weekly basis during the same time frame. Both the group undergoing physical therapy and the yoga group were also given at-home exercises to perform.
At the end of the three-month period, both the yoga group and the physical therapy group continued for an additional nine months and then answered an assessment about their experience and outcomes. Both groups had similar positive experiences, and reported having been able to discontinue pain medication to a much greater degree than was true of the group that received the information.
If you are suffering from lower back pain, yoga offers a possibility for very real relief, but it is important that the exercises that you do are specifically designed for lower back pain. You need to make sure that the yoga program that you select and the poses that you choose do not exacerbate your existing problem and are performed at the appropriate level of intensity. The best way to make certain of this is to do your research and make sure that the yoga instructor that you choose has the correct training in lower back mechanics and the problems of the lumbar spine. You should also check with a spine expert who can help to guide your exercise program and ensure that you are not causing yourself more harm than good.
If you would like to make an appointment with us to discuss your back pain and arrive at a solution that is custom-tailored to your needs, contact our office today.