In a recent trail led by the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK of over 300 people, those offered a 12 week yoga course experienced a 30% greater improvement in back function than those offered GP care alone.
Back pain affects 80% of adults in their lifetime. It’s the top reason for a visit to the GP and costs the UK over £5 billion a year as 4.9 million working days each year are lost due to back pain.
Half of the test group were given the yoga option received a book and CD as well as 12 weekly yoga classes. The participants were encouraged to practice at home in between classes and continue regularly once the classes had finished. The other half were treated in the typical GP way with a combination of painkillers, manipulation, hot/cold packs and exercise.
Medical Director of Arthritis Research UK Professor Alan Silman said: “We’re delighted that our trial has shown that yoga provides such positive benefits for people with chronic low back pain. This extremely common condition cannot be managed with painkillers alone and there is an urgent need to have non-drug therapies that sufferers can utilise in their own home. There are compelling explanations why yoga may be helpful and this trial lends powerful support to the wider use of this approach.”
‘A pragmatic multi-centred randomised controlled trial of yoga for chronic lower back pain’ was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on 1 November 2011. See www.annals.org for more details.
1 hour Beginners Yoga classes, are suitable for beginners and people with back pain, are held in Tinwell and Preston under the instruction of British Wheel of Yoga Instructor Deborah King – please use ‘contact us’ for more information.