Practicing Yoga at Home Could Cut Lower Back Pain in Half


People with chronic lower back pain who start practicing yoga may see their symptoms improve, even if they mostly practice from the comfort of home.

In a small study, researchers offered 10 women with chronic lower back pain a series of eight yoga classes over four weeks. While the first session was in person, the rest were all offered online.

Before they started yoga, the participants rated their back pain at an average of 6.8 on a 10-point scale. By the time they finished the eight-class series, their average back pain scores dropped to 3.3, according to results published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Scientists also measured muscle activity in the spine — which is often reduced or absent in people with chronic back pain — and found this increased significantly by the end of the study.

Taken together, these findings suggest that yoga may help improve muscle function and reduce pain perception in people with low back pain. “It was interesting to show the role that yoga might play in the management of chronic back pain,” study coauthor Alessandro de Sire, MD, of the Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro in Italy, said in a statement.


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