Yoga can reduce age-related spinal curvature and back pain

A recent study has confirmed that yoga could be just the right exercise to reduce age-related curve of the upper spine (known as dowager’s hump).

A group of elderly volunteers, who participated in study, were asked to do yoga for six months. It was noticed that they upper spine curve lowered by 5 percent, compared to those who did not do yoga, says Dr. Gail Greendale, University of California, Los Angelles.

Those with better spinal flexibility showed 6 percent improvement in their upper spine curve, which suggests that yoga could be most effective when the spine is comparatively more malleable, Dr. Greendale said.

Dr. Greendale and his team took regular measurements of the upper spine curvature of 118 otherwise healthy individuals with dowager’s hump. Men and women with more flexible spines got maximum benefit from the yoga.

The yoga group individuals took yoga classes with breathing techniques and poses, to increase flexibility and strength of their back muscles, while the remaining (the control group) attended six monthly informational luncheons.

After six months, the yoga group showed a definite decrease in spinal curvature, while the control group had increased curvature.

The study conducted by Dr. Greendale and his team was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Also, new research by the National Institute of Health has revealed that those suffering from chronic back pain can just head to their nearest yoga studio, as it has been found that taking regular yoga classes can reduce back pain and enhance flexibility.

A 12-week study conducted by the researchers to demonstrate this fact, revealed that, volunteers who took 90-minute yoga classes twice a week showed 42 percent reduction in pain and therefore reduced their dependency on pain medication.

Yoga increases mobility, flexibility, improves posture, and strengthens core muscles, apart from reducing stress, and improving self confidence. For those of you who suffer from back pain and have found no luck with medications and chiropractors, it is time to give yoga a try, on consultation with your doctor.