Category: Back Pain, Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 9, 2019
New research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that two non-opioid treatment methods showed promising results for treating patients with chronic low back pain.
For the study, researchers sought to determine if certain movement-based treatment options could help treat patients plagued by chronic low back pain. The two treatment methods they analyzed were yoga and physical therapy. Study participants were placed into one of three groups to help determine the effectiveness of these treatment methods:
- Weekly yoga classes for 12 weeks.
- 1-on-1 physical therapy sessions for 12 weeks.
- An educational book on treating chronic low back pain.
Alongside low back pain scores, researchers also tracked sleep quality, as chronic low back pain and sleep health are often interrelated. Here’s a look at what they found.
Low Back Pain Study Conclusions
When compared to the education group, both the yoga group and the physical therapy group showed much larger improvements in pain scores associated with their chronic low back pain. Moreover, both treatments showed modest improvements in sleep quality compared to their baseline assessment. Researchers also seemed to uncover a correlation between sleep quality and better pain scores, as they wrote that individuals who had a greater than 30 percent decrease in pain score at the six-week interval were more likely to have greater sleep quality improvements at 12 weeks compared to those individuals who had less than a 10 percent decrease in pain score at the six week interval.
In conclusion, researchers wrote that these movement based therapies may be just what a patient needs if they are suffering from chronic low back pain and decreased sleep quality. Yoga and physical therapy were shown to improve both measures, and they don’t have the potentially problematic side effects that come with opioids, like addiction or overdose. Movement-based therapies essentially kill two birds with one stone, because they can help treat the underlying cause of back pain, and help relieve chronic back injuries by helping the patient get a more restful night’s sleep.
So if you’ve been battling chronic low back pain for a while, maybe it’s time to see if a movement-based treatment technique could put your pain in the past. Dr. Sinicropi can help you develop a physical therapy routine to strengthen your back and help your sleep quality, or he’d be more than happy to connect you with a skilled physical therapist in network who can design a safe and effective PT routine tailored to your condition. For more information, or for assistance with your spinal discomfort, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.