Two articles on PainSci cite Sherman 2005: 1. The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain 2. The Tyranny of Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness
PainSci commentary on Sherman 2005: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
From the abstract: “Yoga was more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing chronic low back pain, and the benefits persisted for at least several months.” However, it was not more effective than a “conventional therapeutic exercise class.”
Note that the authors conducted a similar study in 2011, comparing yoga and stretching classes, with essentially identical results: see Sherman for more detail.
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain is a common problem that has only modestly effective treatment options.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether yoga is more effective than conventional therapeutic exercise or a self-care book for patients with chronic low back pain.
DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial.
SETTING: A nonprofit, integrated health care system.
PATIENTS: 101 adults with chronic low back pain.
INTERVENTION: 12-week sessions of yoga or conventional therapeutic exercise classes or a self-care book.
MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcomes were back-related functional status (modified 24-point Roland Disability Scale) and "bothersomeness" of pain (11-point numerical scale). The primary time point was 12 weeks. Clinically significant change was considered to be 2.5 points on the functional status scale and 1.5 points on the bothersomeness scale. Secondary outcomes were days of restricted activity, general health status, and medication use.
RESULTS: After adjustment for baseline values, back-related function in the yoga group was superior to the book and exercise groups at 12 weeks (yoga vs. book: mean difference, -3.4 [95% CI, -5.1 to - 1.6] [P < 0.001]; yoga vs. exercise: mean difference, -1.8 [CI, -3.5 to - 0.1] [P = 0.034]). No significant differences in symptom bothersomeness were found between any 2 groups at 12 weeks; at 26 weeks, the yoga group was superior to the book group with respect to this measure (mean difference, -2.2 [CI, -3.2 to - 1.2]; P < 0.001). At 26 weeks, back-related function in the yoga group was superior to the book group (mean difference, -3.6 [CI, -5.4 to - 1.8]; P < 0.001).
LIMITATIONS: Participants in this study were followed for only 26 weeks after randomization. Only 1 instructor delivered each intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: Yoga was more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing chronic low back pain, and the benefits persisted for at least several months.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- A double-blinded randomised controlled study of the value of sequential intravenous and oral magnesium therapy in patients with chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component. Yousef 2013 Anaesthesia.
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.
- Sudden amnesia resulting in pain relief: the relationship between memory and pain. Choi 2007 Pain.