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14 September 2009

Yoga Classes Help Lower Back Pain

Yoga classes helped people with chronic lower back pain improve their mood and ability to function, and it eased their pain more than conventional treatment alone, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

People who were assigned to take yoga for two months experienced a 29 percent reduction in functional disability and a 42 percent reduction in pain, the authors reported in the September 1 edition of the journal Spine. Yoga was also associated with a 45.7 percent decrease in symptoms of depression over conventional therapy alone.

"Yoga improves functional disability, pain intensity, and depression in adults with [chronic lower back pain]," Dr. Kimberly Williams of West Virginia University and colleagues concluded. "There was also a clinically important trend for the yoga group to reduce their pain medication usage compared to the control group."

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