Got back pain? Get yoga. Or at least get to stretching. News this week is that the stretching aspect of yoga is helping folks relieve chronic lower back pain. The study conducted at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle involved 228 adults with persistant back pain, split up into 3 groups: one group had yoga weekly, one had weekly stretching classes, the third, and always the pity group in our opinion, were given books with info on back pain exercises. Nice, a book! All were monitored for 12 weeks.
A questionnaire after the 12-week period yielded some relieving results.
The questionnaire rated daily “disability” level on a scale of zero to 23, with 23 being the most severe. At the 12-week mark, the exercise groups had dropped from an initial average score of 10 in the yoga group or nine in the stretching group to between four and five in both groups. The people who received the book started with an average score of nine and at 12 weeks had dropped to about a seven.
More participants who did either yoga or stretching also said that their back pain had diminished or was gone. Sixty percent of people in the yoga group reported improvements in pain, compared to 46 percent in the stretching classes and just 16 percent of people who only got the books.
So what can we conclude from this? 1. Yoga, stretching and strengthening the lower back will help ease chronic pain. 2. You can give a man a book about fishing, but they have to get off their rumps and give it a try on a regular basis to find relief and/or dinner.
“Here is an option that is something worth trying,” said Karen Sherman who led the study. “There is absolutely no treatment that works for everybody… (but) if they’re willing to practice, they should go ahead and give it a try.”
Practice, practice, practice, yes? Because the results last:
And at both the end of class sessions and three months later, twice as many of the class participants reported cutting back on pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) — about 40 percent versus 20 percent in the book group.
And those are results, dorks.