A study has discovered that adults suffering from chronic back pain showed an improvement in everyday tasks after doing weekly yoga sessions.

The study, funded by Arthritus Research UK, offered over 300 people with chronic lower back pain the chance to complete a three-month yoga prgramme or continue with their usual care. After completing questionnaires three, six and twelve months after the study, the result showed those who under took the exercise classes had considerably lower disability scores.

The trial focused on "non-specific" lower back pain, such as tension or stiffness, for which the reason of suffering is unclear. Suffering from the pain can be a persistant disabilty for some and can lead to a reduced quality of life.

Treatment for back pain normally involves advising people to stay active and take up physiotherapy or an exercise programme.

Another US study has claimed weekly yoga sessions can ease side effects of the menopause, such as insomnia. The study does not claim the exercise can cure postmenopausal symptoms, but it can improve and relieve them.

Brought into the spotlight first by celebrities, yoga is now a popular exercise form. The latest yoga trend is Bikram yoga, which is practised in a room that's heated to up to 40 degrees and boasts Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams as fans.

When practising Bikram yoga, 26 postures are used that work every part of the body. The room temperature is kept at 40 degrees allowing toxins to be sweated out of the body and up to 1250 calories can be burned in a single session.

 

Alexandra Baracskai