Effective back pain relief through yoga, study shows

The study, the largest US randomised controlled trial of yoga, compared outcomes among 228 adults with moderate back pain and good mental and other health who received different interventions.

The patients either went to 75-minute yoga classes every week for 12 weeks or a similar regime of conventional stretching classes, or received a comprehensive self-care book, The Back Pain Helpbook. 

Yoga was found to be more effective than the self-care book, but no more effective than stretching classes, the researchers found. 

Twice as many patients in the yoga and stretching groups reported decreasing their medication use at the 12-week and 26-week interviews compared to the self-care group. 

Researchers concluded that physical activity involving stretching, regardless of whether it involves yoga or more conventional activities, has moderate benefits in individuals with moderate back pain, with the benefits of yoga largely