Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs by Anna Semlyen and Alison Trewhela
YOGA is now being listed as a good exercise for lower back pain. This book gives you a full account of research which was conducted by the York Trials Unit, University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK. The aim of the trial was to assess the role of yoga in pain relief for a group of people suffering lower back pain.
The trial involved three hundred participants, half of which were in the control group and were treated by conventional methods. The other half were the yoga group who had no previous experience of yoga. They were taught by specially trained teachers in various locations throughout England. All these teachers used the same teaching methods and materials.
The results showed a statistically and clinically significant improvement in the yoga group compared to the non-yoga group, all having started from much the same base. The most dramatic improvement was after the first three months.
The content of the book presents the recommended poses or postures for people with chronic low back pain. Several poses are offered for use at home. Personally, being new to yoga myself I would have preferred more photographs to follow. There is an excellent chapter on What to do if you get a sign of a painful back episode, which begins “Don’t panic”! These suggestions are definitely worth a look, they are helpful, basic, and sensible.
I think the book has been written to be used by people without the help of a teacher, but I think it could be quite dangerous to attempt some of these poses without a teacher being with you in the first instance. After a number of classes with a professional then I think this book would be a great reminder of the poses you were shown.
The authors also point out that their book should be used as an aide-memoir and that it is advisable to find a teacher trained in the system. So, if you do decide to take up Yoga after reading this book make sure you train with a teacher first.