Can Yoga Help Cure Chronic Pain?

Lower back pain is an extremely common condition that can sometimes become disabling. Between 2004-2008, lower back pain accounted for 2.06 million visits to the Emergency Department in the U.S.

While some people recover quickly from this episode the suffering can last up to 3 months or even more. When the pain – clinically described as happening between the low rib along with the gluteal folds – lasts for more than THREE months, it is considered "chronic."

Chronic back pain can sometimes be caused by disorders such as a common neurological disorder radiculopathy, or spinal stenosis, a condition where the spaces in the spine narrow down, thus putting pressure on the spinal cord.

Most of the time, but the explanation for long-term lower back pain remains unknown. In such cases, it is considered "nonspecific." Alternatives for treating chronic non-specific back pain are limited, often calling for self-attention and over-the-counter medication, like paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs.

The brand new review, printed in the Cochrane Library, uses present research to investigate the effectiveness of yoga for treating chronic, non-specific lower back pain.

The meta-analysis pooled the results of 12 randomized controlled trials completed in the U.S., India, and the United Kingdom, and it contained a total of 1,080 participants aged between 34-48 years.

The trials considered compared yoga with non-exercise interventions, including self-care education, an exercise intervention, a mix of both, or no intervention at all.

Three of the studies compared yoga with back-centered exercise, while it was compared by seven trials with no exercise.

Since the trials were not blinded and were based on self-assessment and self-reporting, Cochrane researchers considered the danger of bias to be high. They thus reduced the level of certainty in the consequences to "moderate" so that you can account for the possible prejudice, and reduced it even further for studies wherein results were imprecise or inconsistent.

Overall, the reviewers found that yoga may improve function back and reduce lower back pain in the first 6-12 months.

Yet, they found the advancement to be relatively modest and, in fact, the reviewers point out that the effect isn't large enough to be considered significant.

The review determined with "low to reasonable certainty" that yoga improves back-associated function in comparison with no-exercise control groups. Therefore, it remains unknown whether there's any difference between yoga and other back-focused exercise.

It was not connected with serious adverse effects, although in terms of harm, yoga was found to worsen the pain that was back for 5 percent of the participants.

The authors say that larger scale studies with a more follow up interval will be needed to measure the long term health effects of yoga. You may find more discussions chronic pains at chronic pain forums


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