HealthDay News — For patients experiencing low back pain, yoga may be an effective pain reliever, according to a review published online Jan. 12 in The Cochrane Library.

The findings come from an analysis of 12 studies that included 1,080 participants with lower back pain. The studies compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education.

The researchers found some evidence that yoga led to small improvements in pain, and small to moderate improvements in back function at 3 and 6 months.

“We found that the practice of yoga was linked to pain relief and improvement in function,” review author L. Susan Wieland, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, said in a university news release. “For some patients suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain, yoga may be worth considering as a form of treatment.”

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Wieland LS, Skoetz N, Pilkington K, et al. Yoga treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;1:CD010671. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010671.pub2