Research has found that physical therapy and yoga for lower back pain can improve your quality of sleep…

This is according to a new study from Boston Medical Centre (BMC).

Back pain linked to poor sleep

Sleep disturbance and insomnia are common among people with chronic low back pain (cLBP).

Previous research showed that 59% of people with cLBP experience poor sleep quality and 53% are diagnosed with insomnia disorder.

Why yoga is a workout for anyone

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The need to find natural treatments

Medication for both sleep and back pain can have serious side effects, and risk of opioid-related overdose and death increases with the use of sleep medications.

“Identifying holistic ways to treat these conditions could help decrease the reliance on these medications as well as keep patients safer and more comfortable,” says Eric Roseen, DC, MSc, a researcher in the department of family medicine at BMC, who led the study.

Previous research from BMC discovered that yoga and PT are similarly effective for lowering pain and improving physical function, reducing the need for pain medication.

In the study, which included 320 adults with chronic lower back pain (cLBP), there were significant improvements in sleep quality after 12 weeks of yoga classes or one-on-one physical therapy (PT).

Participants were still experiencing improved sleep a year later when researchers followed up with them. This suggests that yoga and PT have long-term benefits for people with cLBP.

The study

Of the 320 participants with cLBP, over 90 percent of participants suffered from poor sleep.

Participants were assigned one of three different therapies for cLBP: physical therapy, weekly yoga, or reading educational materials.

Results for sleep improvements were compared over a 12-week intervention period and after one year of follow-up.

The high prevalence of sleep problems in adults with chronic low back pain can have detrimental effects on a person’s overall health and wellbeing,” says Roseen, also an assistant professor of family medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

“This really emphasises the need for providers to ask patients with chronic low back pain about the quality of their sleep. Given the serious risks of combining pain and sleep medications, non-pharmacologic approaches should be considered for these patients.”

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Source: Boston Medical Centre via

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