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The Effects of Yoga Exercise on Low Back Pain

1 May 2000


Low back pain is a major health problem today, both in its widespread prevalence and its costs in medical treatment and rehabilitation. Currently there is no single universally accepted treatment in the physical therapy setting for chronic low back pain, although various exercise programs have shown success in research literature. This randomized, controlled, double-blinded study set out to determine the efficacy of a hatha yoga program of exercises, over a three-week period, on people with chronic low back pain. The twenty-six subjects who completed the study were split into yoga (N=14) and control (N=12) groups. The posttest consisted of three outcome measures: Improvement level, as measured by a visual analog scale; pain level, as measured by a visual analog scale; and functional level, as measured by the Therapeutic Associates Outcomes System functional tool. Results demonstrated a statistical significance (p < 0.05) in improvement level in the yoga group over the control group (p=0.00013). Decrease in pain level did not show statistical significance (p=0.066) between groups. No statistical significance in functional level between groups was demonstrated. These results demonstrate the potentially beneficial effects of yoga exercise on people with chronic low back pain, and warrant future research to further analyze yoga exercise as an effective treatment


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