Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 12 : Help yourself and do yoga, as a new study suggests that yoga under supervision of experienced and qualified teachers may reduce the pain and functional ability in people with lower back pain.
The finding, which has appeared in the journal of Cochrane Library, suggests that practicing yoga might improve back-related function and may also reduce symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount in the first six to twelve months, although the effect was consistently less than that judged to be clinically important.
Back pain is sometimes associated with a disease or condition, but the vast majority of lower back pain cases have an unknown cause and as a result are described as non-specific.
"Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount, but the results have come from studies with a short follow up," said lead author Susan Wieland from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
"At the moment we only have low to moderate quality evidence for the effects of yoga before six months as a type of exercise for helping people with chronic lower back pain," Wieland added.
The results of 12 randomised trials from 1,080 people with an average age between 34 and 48 years of age were conducted in India, UK and the US.
All the participants had chronic non-specific lower back pain. The Cochrane collaboration researchers compared practicing yoga in a class to not doing any back-focused exercise or to other forms of exercise.
Seven studies compared yoga with no exercise, three studies compared yoga with back-focused exercise or added yoga for a back-focused exercise programme.
Two studies compared yoga with two other forms of control group: no exercise or a self-care book. All yoga interventions used were specifically designed for treatment of lower back pain and were provided by experienced and qualified teachers.
However, yoga may cause an increase in back pain in some people. The yoga exercises practised in the studies were developed for low back pain and the people should also remember that in each of the studies we reviewed, the yoga classes were led by experienced practitioners, they noted.