Ditch the narcotics and downward dog.

A study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine show that 12 weekly 75-min yoga classes were not inferior to physical therapy for back-related functioning and pain in patients with chronic low back pain. When compared to patients receiving education alone, the yogis used significantly less pain medications at 12 weeks (HR 0.36, 0.17-0.78). What’s more interesting is that most of the participants were non-white and brought home < $30K annually--the precise population most at-risk to fall prey to the current opiate epidemic. So while many cancer patients have pain severities warranting medications, some may have chronic pain or limitations amenable to yoga alone. Namaste.


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