People have been using yoga as an effective exercise for stress management and weight loss for decades now, and the practice has only grown in popularity in the past few years. One of the positives of yoga is that it can be done either at a studio or in the comfort of one's home, which is one of the many reasons why people have taken it up. Now, scientists from the University of York in the U.K. have found another potential benefit of yoga.
According to researchers, yoga exercises may be cost-effective ways to relieve the discomfort experienced by people with chronic back pain.
Cheap, painless and effective
To come to their conclusions, the scientists lead study participants in a 12-week yoga program, and compared their results to those of individuals who simply received traditional care for back pain. After the 12 weeks, the researchers discovered that people who did yoga took only four days off of work due to back pain, while participants in the control group had to miss work for an average of 12 days.
The scientists said they were not surprised at these findings, since past research has shown that yoga can help relieve back pain. However, this study also examined the cost-effectiveness of using yoga to treat pain.
"In our study we evaluated a specially designed yoga class package by using individual-level data from a multicentered randomized controlled trial. On the basis of the 12-month trial, we conclude that 12 weekly group classes of specialized yoga are likely to provide a cost-effective intervention for the treatment of patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain," said chief investigator David Torgerson.
Alan Silman, Medical Director of Arthritis Research U.K., said that these findings should serve to encourage people to take the treatment of their back pain into their own hands. If individuals find that they are having trouble managing their discomfort with just the help of their doctor, then they should consider trying yoga before taking more medications.
Other natural solutions
Along with yoga, there are other ways that people can ease their back pain naturally. For example, SheKnows.com spoke to Chrystle Fielder, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Remedies, who suggested that people who experience back discomfort take B vitamins and consume more omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these suggestions have been shown to potentially improve all types of pain.