Pain medication use by participants in a yoga study for chronic low back pain
Sato, Kaori D.
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Recent studies have shown the efficacy and practicality of the integration of complementary and alternative therapies and biomedical treatments for various diseases and illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Saper et al. (2013) demonstrated that once-weekly yoga classes were equally as effective for relieving chronic low back pain in low-income, minority populations than twice-weekly yoga classes. Pain medication data collected from this 12-week study was used to examine the effect of yoga on analgesic use. Pain medications were categorized into four major groups: (1) acetaminophen, (2) opiates, (3) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and (4) other. The average number of NSAID pills taken daily decreased from baseline to 12 weeks. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in the average number of any type of analgesic taken between once- and twice-weekly yoga groups from baseline to 12 weeks. Our findings suggest that yoga is most useful for individuals with mild to moderate chronic low back pain; however, further studies with more powerful sample sizes must be conducted in order to make more precise conclusions.
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