Chronic low back pain affects approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults and is a significant problem for many amputees. Physical therapy is the most common evidence-based, reimbursable, and non-pharmacologic therapy prescribed by physicians, but clinical guidelines, meta-analyses, and several large randomized controlled trials also support yoga.
A study of 320 adults with chronic low back pain found that yoga was as safe and effective as physical therapy for restoring function and relieving pain. Compared to an education-only intervention, patients who did yoga or physical therapy were less likely to be taking pain medications at a 12-week follow-up. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers concluded that yoga may be a reasonable alternative to physical therapy depending upon patient preferences, availability, and cost.
This article was adapted from information provided by the American College of Physicians.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for personal medical advice. For specific advice about your treatment, consult a qualified healthcare professional.
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