If you are one of my existing patients, you most likely already know that I am a strong proponent of Iyengar yoga as a means to rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, increase functionality, and promote overall wellness. A recent study by the NIH supports my opinion. Below is a portion of the article.:
A study just published in the journal Spine found that a group of low back pain sufferers who regularly practiced yoga postures had less pain, improved function, and a better mood. What’s more, they were far less likely to take drugs for their back problem than a matched group who received standard medical therapy.
“Proponents of yoga have long described its benefits in reducing back pain,” researcher Kimberly Williams, Ph.D., of West Virginia University’s Department of Community Medicine said in a statement to the media. “But not everybody was convinced. This is a much bigger, much more rigorous evaluation than had been done before.”
The $400,000 study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), covered three years and involved 90 people. All had mild to moderate functional disability from their back pain. Half were randomly assigned to study Iyengar style yoga and half received conventional medical therapy. Those practicing yoga took 90 minute classes two times a week for 24 weeks, working with postures targeted to relieve chronic low-back pain.
The classes were taught by certified instructors of Iyengar yoga. Iyengar yoga. One of the world’s most widely-practiced forms of yoga, Iyengar yoga emphasizes individualized asanas (postures) to build strength, stamina, balance and flexibility. Classes also typically end with a deeply relaxing asana.