Yoga for Nonpharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain

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. [1] Between 1999 and 2008, opioid overdose death rates, prescription pain reliever sales, and substance use disorder treatment admissions increased in parallel. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4]  

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