New research shows that yoga may be a good alternative for treating back pain.
For this reason, people living with chronic pain often resort to alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga. The NIH report that there is enough evidence to support the "short- and long-term benefits" of yoga for relieving chronic low back pain.
Previous studies have indeed suggested that yoga and stretching help ease low back pain.
But chronic low back pain tends to affect racial and ethnic minorities in particular, as well as people with a lower socioeconomic background. In this population as well as in those who have more severe pain - the benefits of yoga may not have been studied sufficiently.
The 320 participants were randomly assigned to either attending 12 weekly yoga sessions, 15 physical therapy sessions, or just reading an educational book and newsletters on how to manage chronic low back pain.