Study compares yoga to physical therapy for resolving back pain

Without knowing the facts, it seems pretty obvious that yoga might be good at reducing back pain. One study recently looked at the specific ways this form of exercise measures up to physical therapy as a form of addressing pain. In addition, there's a current trend in medicine to move patients away from unnecessary prescriptions and medication. If that's the case for you, maybe yoga is the kind of exercise you need.

A study that recently appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine detailed how researchers compared yoga and physical therapy against each other, as well as educational materials. The conclusions said that yoga wasn't better than education for pain or back-related function. However, yoga was also not seen as "noninferior," and that, among other things, 21 percent of the yoga users in the study were less inclined to take medication within 12 weeks.

"Yoga might help with your own back pain."

It may not be conclusive, but this study should at least get you thinking about how yoga might help with your own back pain. In an article on this study for The New York Times, Boston University School of Public Health Janice Weinberg gave her own endorsement and several reasons to choose yoga as a way to mitigate pain.

"I'd tell my friends to use yoga for back pain," she said. "It is cost effective, it can be done at home or in group settings where there is social support, and it is also thought to have mental health benefits."

Yoga might not be the best choice for your lifestyle, but it could help you develop stronger muscles and a consistent workout routine. For guidance and a professional opinion on the best treatment for you, consult a care provider. You can also contact Bronston Chiropractic or our Medical Division Community Care Clinic and get an expert opinion.