A study shows yoga was more effective at improving function and reducing chronic low back pain with lasting benefits than a self-care book.

Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Erro J, Miglioretti DL Deyo RA. Comparing yoga, exercise and a self-care book for chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2005; 143: 849-856. 

Yoga combines breathing and exercise to achieve a state of mental focus for improved mind-body awareness. This study randomly assigned individuals with low back pain to yoga, conventional exercise or a self-care book.  Between 12 and 26 weeks of intervention, low back symptoms were milder and function was improved only with the yoga group. This study shows yoga can be a safe and effective treatment for chronic back pain.

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