Caitlin Register, Mercer University College of Pharmacy
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid abuse continues to be a growing issue, and drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.  Between 1999 and 2008, opioid overdose death rates, prescription pain reliever sales, and substance use disorder treatment admissions increased in parallel.  Guidelines advise patients to remain active when able, and advise prescribers to consider use of non-pharmacologic therapy, including intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation, exercise therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, yoga, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or progressive relaxation.  Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation, and is considered to be a low-impact exercise technique with low risk of injury when guided by a trained instructor. In addition to chronic low back pain, it may reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia.