Yoga for low back pain: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials

Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK.
Clinical Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 1.77). 05/2011; 30(9):1257-62. DOI: 10.1007/s10067-011-1764-8
Source: PubMed


It has been suggested that yoga has a positive effect on low back pain and function. The objective of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment option for low back pain. Seven databases were searched from their inception to March 2011. Randomized clinical trials were considered if they investigated yoga in patients with low back pain and if they assessed pain as an outcome measure. The selection of studies, data extraction and validation were performed independently by two reviewers. Seven randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria. Their methodological quality ranged between 2 and 4 on the Jadad scale. Five RCTs suggested that yoga leads to a significantly greater reduction in low back pain than usual care, education or conventional therapeutic exercises. Two RCTs showed no between-group differences. It is concluded that yoga has the potential to alleviate low back pain. However, any definitive claims should be treated with caution.

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    • "Among other exercise modalities, yoga has shown promise for the treatment of both physical and mental health problems . Recent trials have demonstrated that yoga practice is associated with numerous health benefits and can be effectively employed as an adjunctive treatment for chronic illness (Aljasir, Bryson, & Al-shehri, 2010; Culos-Reed et al., 2012; Posadzki & Ernst, 2011). Furthermore, evidence suggests that yoga may help to reduce anxiety and depression (Kirkwood, Rampes, Tuffrey, Richardson, & Pilkington, 2005; Uebelacker et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study tested whether distress tolerance, body image, and body mass index (BMI) predicted adherence to a yoga intervention. Participants were 27 women who participated in a yoga intervention as part of a randomized controlled trial. Attendance and distress tolerance were assessed weekly, and body image and BMI were measured at baseline. Multilevel modeling revealed a three-way interaction of distress tolerance, BMI, and body image (p < .001). For participants with few body image concerns, distress tolerance was positively associated with adherence regardless of BMI (p = .009). However, for those with poor body image, increases in distress tolerance were associated with increases in adherence among overweight participants (p < .001) but lower adherence among obese participants (p = .007). Distress tolerance may be implicated in adherence to a yoga intervention, although its effects may be dependent on body image concerns, BMI, and their interaction. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
    Behavior modification 11/2015; DOI:10.1177/0145445515612401 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Yoga plays a significant role in enhancing one's physical as well as psychological health. Recent research also suggests that yoga is effective for dealing with many chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease,[17] diabetes,[18] cancer,[19] anxiety and stress,[20] migraine,[21] musculoskeletal discomfort & motor functions [22] and chronic low back pain.[23] Many CLBP patients seek relief using complementary therapies such as yoga.[24] "
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    ABSTRACT: Back pain is an increasing economic and health problem affecting nearly 80% of the general population. Healthcare costs for low back pain (LBP) are increasing rapidly. Hence, it is important to provide effective and cost-effective treatments. Patients with CLBP are often unsatisfied with conventional medical treatment and seek complementary and alternative therapies, such as massage, acupressure, and other mind-body techniques. Mind-body techniques, such as yoga, tai chi, sensory awareness, body awareness therapy, and breath therapy are said to help patients with low back pain by enhancing body awareness. Yoga plays a significant role in enhancing one's psychological and physical health. Many CLBP patients seek relief using complementary therapies such as yoga. For this review, 12 randomized controlled trials (RCT's) have been reviewed from different databases. Details of the all RCT which suggest the management and prevention of CLBP through yoga are mentioned in the text. Based on the available researches, it appears that yoga is the most effective treatment approach to low back pain when comparing other CAM treatments.
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    • "More than one million Americans use yoga as a treatment for back pain (Wolsko, Eisenberg, Davis, Ke s s l e r, & Phillips, 2003). Several studies have made a direct connection between the practice of yoga and relief from CLBP (Ananthanarayanan & Sr i vasan, 1994; Ke l l y, 2009; Posadzki & Ernst, 2012; Pearson, 2010; Posadzki, & Ernest, 2011; Tekur, Singphow, Nagendra, & Raghuram, 2008; Tilbrook et al., 2011; Tul, Unruh, & Dick, 2011). A recent systematic review and meta-analysis found strong evidence for short-term effectiveness and moderate evidence for long-term effectiveness of yoga for CLBP (Cramer, Lauche, Haller, & Dobos, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Tactile acuity in the back relates to voluntary lumbo-pelvic control and is lower in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. Two-point discrimination (TPD) thresholds are higher, indicating decreased tactile acuity in patients with CLBP. Yoga has been shown to help relieve CLBP. This study investigated the hypothesis that regular practitioners of yoga have increased tactile acuity (i.e., lower TPD thresholds) when compared to matched controls who regularly perform gym-based (resistance training or aerobic-type) exercise. Tactile acuity in the low back was assessed using TPD in 16 long-term practitioners of yoga (5 Ashtanga, 5 Bikram, and 6 Iyengar practitioners) and 16 age- and gender-matched healthy controls who exercise (with weights and aerobic exercise). The yoga practitioners' TPD was lower than that of the exercisers, indicating greater tactile acuity in the low back. While there was no difference between the TPD of the practitioners of different yoga styles, the TPD of the Ashtanga yoga participants were significantly lower than those of the exercisers. The yogis whose main reasons to practice yoga were for "meditation or increased mindfulness" and for "well-being" showed a nonsignificant trend of higher tactile acuity than those who did yoga for "physical exercise." There was no association between TPD threshold and cumulative amount of yoga practice in terms of hours per week and years of experience. However, increased hours of exercise per week correlated with higher TPD. The findings suggest that there may be a relationship between yoga practice and enhanced tactile acuity in the low back.
    International journal of yoga therapy 09/2014; 24:43-50.
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