University of York Research Finds Yoga Aids Chronic Back Pain
More good news for back pain sufferers and for complementary therapists! Another interesting research trial at the University of York, funded by Arthritis Research UK, has found that yoga helped people with back pain more than conventional GP treatment.
These results were then compared with the findings of the ATEAM Trial into treatments for chronic back pain (in which the Alexander Technique was found to be more effective than either massage and GP treatment) and it was found that:
‘The results suggested that the 12-week yoga group programme may improve back function more than exercise and manipulation, cognitive-behaviour treatment and six sessions of 1-to-1 Alexander technique, but not as much as 24 sessions of 1-to-1 Alexander technique’.
Interestingly, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique Scientific Research Committee have pointed out that the ATEAM Trial also found significant reductions in pain experienced by the subjects having Alexander lessons, whereas the Yoga Trial did not report a significant level of pain reduction.
It is good that a body of research into the Alexander Technique and other disciplines is growing and that the findings are very encouraging and support our work as Alexander teachers.
As the comment below describes, people who just rely on drugs become habituated to them and then the drug don’t work. Learning techniques such as yoga and the Alexander Technique gives people tools that they can use throughout their lives to improve their body use and to lesson problems such as back pain.