Decreasing lower back pain with Yoga
Some research suggests that yoga can be better than physical therapy for lower back pain.
Lower back pain affects around 80%Trusted Source of adults at some point in their lives, and it affects their ability to perform daily tasks, exercise, and sleep. Yoga may be a convenient and inexpensive way to provide some relief.
A 2017 analysis linked yoga practice with lower back pain relief and an improvement in back-related function.
Military veterans and active duty military personnel often experience higher rates of chronic pain than the general population, especially in the lower back.
One study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that a 12 week yoga program improved scores for disability and pain intensity and reduced opioid use among military veterans.
Other research suggests that yoga is just as effectiveTrusted Source at relieving back pain as physical therapy. Yoga may also have lasting benefitsTrusted Source for several months.
Improving quality of life during illness – Many people use yoga as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments to improve their quality of life.
Some evidence suggests that yoga may improve quality of life for people with the following conditions:
Prostate cancer. Research suggests that attending a yoga class twice per week during prostate cancer radiation treatment may reduce fatigue and improve sexual and urinary function.
Stroke. Yoga may improve post-stroke balanceTrusted Source and motor function even when a person starts practicing it 6 months or more after stroke.
Ulcerative colitis. Taking a weekly yoga class for 12 weeks may increase quality of lifeTrusted Source for people with ulcerative colitis, as well as reduce colitis activity.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Joining an 8 week intensive yoga course may improve physical and psychological symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as reduce inflammation.
Early research for yoga’s role in improving quality of life in many conditions is promising. However, more studies are necessary before researchers are able to draw firm conclusions.