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Lower Back Pain? Before Yoga Try a PT Intensive Stretching Program


Millions of people around the country suffer from some sort of lower back pain. It can be enough to keep many of them from engaging in activities they enjoy, as well as constantly struggling with a way to find relief. What they may not realize is that the relief may be as easy as engaging in something like yoga or doing stretching exercises.



By engaging in intensive stretching or yoga classes on a weekly basis it will actually help to not only reduce the lower back pain, but it will also improve back movement. This, according to recent research, found that both types of classes worked equally as well at being effective toward helping to ease the back pain, and that the benefits of doing the weekly classes lasted for months after all the classes had ended.



The most common cause for lower back pain is an on-the-job one that has lead to disability, as well as the person who is suffering from the pain to miss work. There are a wide variety of treatments that are available, but overall there has been nothing that has been proven to be highly effective against the long-lasting (chronic) back pain.



Yoga, which combines, physical postures, relaxation, and breathing techniques, has been touted before in smaller studies as being effective for reducing lower back pain.



An NIH Research Project



To investigate this research, the National Institutes of Health randomly divided over 200 people that had lower back pain by putting them into three different groups. They sent one group for a weekly yoga class for three months. They sent another group each week for intensive stretching. For the third group they gave them an informational booklet that suggested exercise and lifestyle changes that the person could do to try and reduce the back pain.


Once the three months were up they found that the group that did the intensive stretching as well as the yoga group had less back pain and more back movement than the group that only got the informational booklet. Even six months later, people who did the stretching had the same benefits as those who did the yoga.



The take-home message is that if you have back pain, you don't have to sign up for yoga. Physical therapists put together range of motion and stretching routines for low back pain patients all of the time and in most cases your insurance will cover it.



The science proves that stretching can help. Moreover, good physical therapists will evaluate you for joint stiffness, muscular weakness and can counsel you on how to ease the pain when you are not in the clinic.


Connect with one of our physical therapists to see if we can put together a stretching program for you.

February 8, 2013
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