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Yoga can help ease low-back pain, study finds

July 13, 2017—Looking for something to help ease that achy back? You may want to give yoga a try.

A new study found that yoga worked as well as physical therapy for easing back pain.

The study divided 320 adults with chronic low-back pain into three groups. One group took weekly yoga classes. Another group had regular physical therapy sessions. The third group received educational materials about coping with low-back pain.

After three months, those who did yoga or physical therapy were less likely to use pain medication than those who were given educational materials. Over time, yoga and physical therapy were equally effective at reducing pain and improving function. The improvements were still maintained after a year.

There's one important thing to keep in mind. The study looked specifically at yoga classes designed to treat low-back pain. So it's hard to know for sure whether regular yoga classes would have the same effect, according to the researchers.

Read a summary of the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The take-home message

Yoga may be one way to ease low-back pain. But no one treatment is guaranteed to work for everyone. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor if you have chronic pain. He or she can offer a range of tools to help you manage your symptoms. These could include physical therapy, medication and even certain exercises.

For more information about pain relief, check out this article: When pain won't go away.

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