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Yoga as an Alternative to Conventional Back Pain Remedies

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm

Consumers are demanding alternatives to conventional treatments (such as epidural shots and surgery) for back pain. These procedures are not only invasive procedures, but quite often not successful in relieving pain or providing the patient with an improved quality of life. There is even a medical billing code called "failed back surgery code" and, failed back surgery is even classified as a syndrome according to one nursing journal, The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care. The journal reports: "Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a phenomenon that occurs following surgery on the lumbosacral spine. This form of chronic back pain is a major problem for patients and primary care providers. It happens so often! This actually really scares me!

Well if surgery is a last resort, what should people who have back pain, but do not have such an extreme case to warrant surgery do? First we can look at what people are doing. Spine, a prominent journal investigating spine related health matters, published some research that has been done on what consumers are reporting they do for back pain. The name of one such study is Patterns and Perceptions of Care for Treatment of Back and Neck Pain: Results of a National Survey.
2055 people were questioned about conventional medicine, alternative medicine, and their perceived helpfulness of the therapies. You can read the abstract here. As you can see, a very large number of people who suffered back and wrist pain in the past 12 months found alternative treatments such as "chiropractic, massage, and relaxation therapies" very helpful. More helpful than they found conventional medicine.

One such "relaxation therapy" is yoga. Having instructed yoga for 8 years and having witnessed an enormous amount of people improve their lives through yoga in a plethora of ways, I feel confident that if a patient practices the right kind of yoga and has the right instructor, they can heal from chronic conditions including, actually, especially, back pain. People are figuring this out. It is evident. Look at the results of surveys such as the one mentioned above. I highly recommend yoga therapy as something to consider if you have back pain. Please research this option, there is a lot of information out there about it and if you are considering treatment, or currently receiving treatment at Dr Davis' office here at Front street or in San Rafael, you have a lot of information available to you if you ask!

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