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Health Hack: Yoga to Help With Lower Back Pain

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Health Hack: Yoga to Help With Lower Back Pain

Dec 28, 2018

Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common types of pain in the United States. Emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen says yoga can reduce lower back pain and may be a cheaper alternative to the typical treatments of physical therapy and painkillers for relief.

Episode Transcript

Announcer: Health hacks with Dr. Troy Madsen on The Scope.

Interviewer: What is today's health hack?

Dr. Madsen: Today's health hack is yoga for chronic low back pain. So here we're talking about people who have had lots of issues, who may have been prescribed even opioids for pain, who have looked into surgery. This was a study in "Annals of Internal Medicine," a few months ago, that looked at patients with this type of pain, chronic low back pain. They placed these patients in yoga classes. Other patients, they placed in physical therapy. Other patients, they just gave some education to, some information. Those who were in yoga did just as well as those in physical therapy. They used fewer pain medications, and even a year later, they saw these same results. They were still doing well.

So I think the big take-home for me from this was if yoga works for you, do yoga. If you're having issues accessing physical therapy, because of insurance issues potentially, consider yoga. Or if you're doing physical therapy, talk to your physical therapist potentially about even supplementing that with some yoga classes. It can make a big difference in the long run for a chronic issue that can cause all sorts of problems.

Announcer: For more health hacks, check out, produced by University of Utah Health.