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Does yoga really help a bad back?

Yoga has been around a long time. About 5,000 years to be relatively exact. Begun in India as a stretching and mindfulness exercise before one sat to mediate, it first became widely known in the US in 1893. 

While yoga saw an upsurge in the 1960s, more recently alternative medicine and people seeking to de-stress have embraced the practice. In fact, recent statistics cited by an article in the Princeton Press indicate that well over 16 million Americans practice some form of yoga. But, does it really do a body good?  

Anyone who has hurt their back- either in a car accident, work accident or wrenching it by trying to lift something at home- knows that the last thing you want to do is move it. 

But the research shows that is exactly what you should do- keep moving-especially with low back pain.  And yoga is one way to do that. 

The Journal Archives of Internal Medicine is noted in an Everyday Health article stating that people who practice yoga at least twice a week "are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications" compared to people who tried other things on their own. 

It seems counter-intuitive but the movement, stretching and concentration on breathing that yoga requires has had real benefits for those suffering from chronic back pain. 

The biggest improvement in people who practiced yoga was their confidence in their ability to perform chores and other tasks. Of course anyone with back pain should consult a medical professional before attempting any new exercise, but for many people yoga has had a positive effect. 

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