Yoga and Back Pain

back-pain-yoga748x319I read this today:

“Recommendations by the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society point to yoga as a possible non-drug treatment for lower back pain. In addition, a recent meta-analysis by Cramer et al out of the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany concluded that yoga should be recommended as a complementary therapy to deal with chronic lower back pain.”

Wow – it’s amazing. 20 years ago this would have seemed highly unlikely. Yoga is now being looked at as a medical treatment. Great strides have been made in terms of the physical benefits of practice. All of the great teachers who have guided yoga here would probably be really happy with how far we’ve come.

On the other hand, it is a bit odd. Yoga for lower back pain is a bit inspecific don’t you think? It kind of dumbs it down. It’s kind of like saying “you should try exercise for your back”.

There have been some really good studies on yoga for back pain. I’m a fan of Gary Krafstow’s work. But most media coverage of this topic doesn’t mention specific protocols. It might be better to mention that you should work with a yoga therapist, and not just walk into an advanced asana class at your local gym.

All in all, though the publicity for yoga therapeutics is a good thing. The drive to end physical discomfort has started many on the path of yoga. I’ll take the free PR.

May we all find peace,

Brandt

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