Chronic Back Pain
October 28, 2011 by staff
In a comparative efficacy study, researchers found that yoga was more effective than self-help book, but no more effective than stretching classes to improve function and reduce symptoms resulting from back pain chronic, long-lasting benefits at least several months.
“Finding a similar effect for both approaches suggest that the benefits of yoga were in large part to the physical benefits of stretching and strengthening muscles, not mental components,” Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle Washington, and colleagues.
The author of a related commentary says that the results of this study are “actionable” in practice because they reinforce the evidence that moderate exercise is safe and beneficial for chronic low back pain.
“Health care providers must feel comfortable referring patients to either yoga or [physical therapy] tutorials, either seems to be useful,” writes Timothy S. Carey, MD, MPH, Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The study included 228 adults with chronic low back pain was moderately hurt, according to initial questionnaire, Roland-Morris Disability (RDQ) scores between 8.6 and 9.8 on a scale of 23 points. The researchers randomly assigned study participants to 3 commonly used treatments for chronic low back pain:
A self-care book (The Back Pain Helpbook), which provides information on the causes of back pain and advice on exercise, make changes in life style and crisis management.
Twelve weekly yoga classes based on the principles of Viniyoga and including 17 relatively simple postures, with variations and adaptations, as well as breathing exercises and guided deep relaxation.
Twelve weekly classes led by stretching licensed physical therapist who had completed a training program two hours of training. Classes include aerobics, strengthening exercises 10 and 12 stretches held for 30 seconds each. The sections are designed to stretch the major muscle groups, focusing on the trunk and legs.
Back-related pain and functional status were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12 and 26 weeks after randomization.
One hundred sixty-five participants in a yoga class and 59% of participants stretching class attended at least 8 classes. The median number of classes attended among those attending at least one class was similar (10 yoga and stretching 9), 63% of those attending yoga class and 82% of attendees said the class extends practicing in home three or more days a week.
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