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PHILADELPHIA, November 1, 2011 -- Chronic or recurrent back pain
cost the U.S. health care system billions of dollars each year, and
is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. In an
article published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the
flagship journal of the American College of Physicians, researchers
conducted a trial to determine whether offering a 12-week yoga
program to adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain could
improve back function better than usual care (back pain education
booklet and continuation of treatments patients were already
More than 300 participants were randomly assigned to either a
12-session, 3-month yoga program (n = 156) or usual care (n = 157).
Patients reported back function at 3, 6, and 12 months by filling
out the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) that rated
symptoms such as function and pain on a scale of 0 (best) to 24
(worst). The yoga group reported better back function but similar
back pain and general health scores throughout the trial.
Improvements in back function were most pronounced at 3 months,
immediately after the intervention, but confidence in performing
normal activities despite pain improved more in the yoga group than
in the usual care group at 3 and 6 months. Eight participants
reported adverse events, such as increased pain, that may have been
related to yoga.
The researchers conclude that yoga may be a safe and effective
treatment for patients with chronic low back pain.
About Annals of Internal
MedicineAnnals of Internal Medicine is one of the five most widely
cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, with a current
impact factor of 16.2. The journal has been published for 82 years.
It accepts only 7 percent of the original research studies
submitted for publication. Follow Annals on Twitter and Facebook.