Low back pain is a significant health problem. Current conventional medical interventions seem largely ineffective and do not address the contributing issues of low back pain in a comprehensive or holistic manner. The holistic approach of Yoga makes it an ideal intervention for low back pain, as it addresses the multifactorial physical, psychological, and social factors associated with low back pain. The objectives of this research review were to (1) identify all relevant published studies that identify Yoga as an intervention for low back pain; (2) draw conclusions about whether Yoga is an effective treatment for low back pain and comparable to other interventions; and (3) summarize interventions used in studies to better inform practitioners, healthcare providers, and researchers about how Yoga may be used to treat low back pain. Seven studies were identified: five moderate- to high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and two case series. Participants of six out of the seven studies had chronic low back pain with a duration of greater than three months. The main outcome measures were disability questionnaires and pain. Styles of Yoga included Anusara, Iyengar, Viniyoga, a combined intervention of Yoga and Pilates, and Hatha Yoga, not further specified.The findings of this review suggest that Yoga has a positive effect on low back pain and function, with effects comparable to education combined with aerobic and strengthening exercise and more effective than education alone or no treatment. Yoga may provide an inexpensive and easily accessible way for those with low back pain to manage their symptoms. However, the small number of studies prevents definite conclusions from being drawn. This demonstrates a need to increase the evidence base through larger, well-designed RCTs in this area.
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Research Article| October 26 2009
Is Yoga an Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain: A Research Review
Int J Yoga Therap (2009) 19 (1): 103–112.
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Zena Kelly; Is Yoga an Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain: A Research Review. Int J Yoga Therap 1 October 2009; 19 (1): 103–112. doi: https://doi.org/10.17761/ijyt.19.1.r810550078602214
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