Yoga: Effective — if the cause of the pain in your back is physical

A study conducted at Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative for the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has found yoga to be effective in relieving low back pain. But the study is attributing the effectiveness to the stretching component of yoga, rather than to any stress-relieving components.

You can read more in this Wall Street Journal report.

I’ll confess that, based on my own yoga experience, the study results have me puzzled. I’d have thought that the reason yoga relieved low back pain was because it strengthened muscles in the back, legs, and abdomen, thus providing more support for the body during activities such as bending over, or lifting heavy objects, and reducing the likelihood of injury (throwing your back out or straining muscles).

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