Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs course


If you woke up this morning with a painful back, some gentle yoga could be just what you need. A major analysis of medical evidence just published in the US, suggests it’s twice as good as other exercises in helping discomfort.

The new review, published by the respected Cochrane Library, found doing yoga exercises under guidance from an instructor could effectively reduce chronic lower back pain within six to 12 months. Researchers at the University of Maryland examined data from 12 clinical trials involving 1,080 people.

Chronic back pain is a common problem with eight out of ten people suffering from it at some point in their lives. But as most cases have no specific cause it’s hard to treat effectively.  The health regulator NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) updated it’s guidelines on back care last year to include group exercise, including mind-body activities such as yoga, as a treatment for lower back pain.

In the Test Valley a specialised programme, Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, is now available at Studio Yoga, located at Tiebridge Farm, near Stockbridge. This teaches people how to care for their spine for the long term and reduce the incidence and severity of low back pain.  The 12-week course was developed following the success of a large randomised controlled trial, backed by Arthritis Research UK and run by the University of York Health Sciences Unit. This approach is backed by NICE which says patients should be provided with information and advice to help self-manage their low back pain. 

Alison Trewhela from the Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute says this “best practice” course provides significant health benefits in a cost effective way: The programme aims to teach patients to self-manage for the long-term, helps people to feel more in control of their health, and was shown to reduce work absenteeism by 70% over the 12 months studied.”

This is good news not just for those who do the course, but society as a whole. In the UK it is estimated that low back pain is responsible for 37% of all chronic pain in men and 44% in women and the total cost of low back pain to the UK economy is reckoned to be over £12 billion per year.

The next course at Studio Yoga starts on Monday January 30th. Participants practise gentle movement, postural awareness and relaxation, learning tips and techniques which can be applied to all activities so daily life is no longer affected by chronic low back pain. Tamsin Kelly says some people report improvements after just one lesson: “Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs can bring about incredible results in a short space of time. It’s a simple, easy to follow yoga programme which students learn in class and then practice at home, improving posture, helping them to sleep better and reducing their reliance on painkillers. People are always amazed at how gentle yoga can be so effective and it’s great to see their progress.”


If you are wondering if this would be appropriate for you, ask one of the Osteopaths for an assessment, and they will examine you to determine what the cause of your back pain is, and if Yoga is suitable. They will then send Studio Yoga a detailed report on their findings, and which would be the safest exercises for you.

For more information visit or contact Tamsin at, tel 01264 811158, 07764 949317.

Tamsin Kelly
Yoga Instructor
Studio Yoga, Houghton 


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