Date of Publication

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Lenz

Abstract

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is one of the most prominent causes of functional disability worldwide. A systematic review observed 18.3 percent (±12.7) of survey takers having a current diagnosis of CLBP (11). In the United States, 90 percent of reported cases are deemed unspecific, due to unknown pathologies (31). The estimated cost of treating this widespread disability in the United States is $4.3 billion (18). Due to the prevalence and the associated cost of CLBP, several cost effective alternative and complementary treatments have been found to effectively treat CLBP. Yoga is a common treatment for a number of ailments including migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, neck pain, and back pain (24). Yoga is an exercise program focused on improving muscle function and control of the voluntary nervous system (7). Due to its emphasis on the correction of physical causes of pain and functional disability, researchers believe yoga has the potential to be a very cost-effective treatment (4). This Review investigates the effects of yoga on pain and functional disability in patients with CLBP which has made yoga a valuable alternative and/or complementary treatment for patients with chronic low back pain.

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