A study published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine notes that both yoga and physical therapy are similarly effective in treating lower back pain.

According to the study, participants in both groups had “similar improvements in levels of pain and activity limitations.”

The study included 320 participants with back pain, all of whom were randomly assigned to one of three groups: yoga classes every week for 3 months, 15 visits with a physical therapist over 3 months, or education (which included receiving a back pain self-help book and mailed newsletters), per a new story posted on abc10.com.

During the study period, the researchers gave the participants questionnaires to complete regarding their level of back pain and their activity limitations at baseline and at 12 weeks. They also monitored the participants’ use of pain medications, satisfaction with their treatment, and quality of life.

“After three months, the yoga group attended more yoga sessions or practiced at home for another nine months and the physical therapy group had sessions with the physical therapist every two months or did physical therapy exercises at home for another nine months,” according to the study, per the news story.

The study notes that, over time, the participants in both the yoga and physical therapy groups showed the same amount of improvement in pain and activity limitation. They also demonstrated similar satisfaction and quality of life measurements.

Compared to the participants in the education group in terms of pain and activity limitation at 3 months, those in the yoga group did not perform better. However, the study continues, participants in both the yoga and physical therapy groups were less likely to use pain medications at 3 months compared with the education group.

[Source: abc10 KXTV]