Study: Yoga is effective treatment for back pain

Yoga is getting more popular as a form of exercise and stress relief.

Now, there's more evidence it could play a bigger role in a big health problem - back pain.

Physical therapy is the most common non-drug treatment for chronic low back pain.

But a study out Monday says yoga is just as effective.

It's the first head-to-head study comparing PT to yoga classes specifically for back pain.

And it's the first test of yoga in low-income patients with more severe disability and pain.

The study measured results after three months, and at one year.

"Their overall pain intensity went down, they were able to be more physically active, and also a number of patients were able to reduce or even stop all their pain medication," study author Dr. Robert Saper said.

Study leaders say yoga classes should become more available and affordable in minority and lower-income neighborhoods.
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