I’m frequently asked by my Massage Therapy clients, who are or have experienced chronic low back pain, as to whether yoga is a good exercise for them. I recently found an article reporting on the “UK’s largest ever study into the benefits of yoga”. The purpose of the study was “To compare the effectiveness of yoga and usual care for chronic or recurrent low back pain”. A yoga protocol was designed by an Iyengra Yoga teacher, with chronic low back pain specifically in mind. The 12-class program was offered to complete beginners of yoga and delivered over a 3 month period. A video supplement was also provided with the article showing a class being taught in the study.
The conclusion of the study was “Offering a 12-week yoga program to adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain led to greater improvements in back function than did usual care”.
I believe the key to this information is that any program needs to be tailored to the individual. The yoga practitioner needs to be trained, if not specializing, specifically in dealing with chronic low back conditions.
University of York. (2011, November 2). “Chronic Back Pain Sufferers Benefit From Yoga.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/236902.php.