Washington: Yoga may be more effective than standard treatment in reducing chronic low back pain in minority populations, according to a new study.Individuals from low-income, minority backgrounds with chronic low back pain (CLBP) may be more affected due to disparities in access to treatment.
The yoga group participated in 12 weekly 75-minute classes that included postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Classes were taught by a team of registered yoga teachers and were limited to eight participants. Home practice for 30 minutes daily was strongly encouraged. Participants were provided with an audio CD of the class, a handbook describing and depicting the exercises, a yoga mat, strap, and block.Pain scores for the yoga participants decreased by one-third compared to the control group, which decreased by only 5 percent. Whereas pain medication use in the control group did not change, yoga participants`` use of pain medicines decreased by 80 percent. Improvement in function was also greater for yoga participants but was not statistically significant."Few studies of complementary therapies have targeted minority populations with low back pain," said lead author Robert B. Saper, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of family medicine at BUSM and director of integrative medicine at Boston Medical Center. "Our pilot study showed that yoga is well-received in these communities and may be effective for reducing pain and pain medication use," he added.The study appears in the November issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. ANI
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