A growing body of evidence says yoga can help back pain. Studies on yoga for arthritis have shown mixed results.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, has released a video that features research on yoga, how yoga works, its safety and its effectiveness in treating certain health problems.
The video, available at http://nccam.nih.gov/video/yoga, highlights the work of two yoga researchers. It says yoga is generally considered to be safe in healthy people when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor. However, people with high blood pressure, glaucoma or sciatica, and women who are pregnant, should modify or avoid some yoga poses. Also, yoga postures should be modified based on individual abilities, and instructors need to know about any medical issues practitioners have.
A 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey reported that 13 million American adults — 6 percent — practiced yoga in the previous year, and the number is on the rise as mind-body therapies are becoming increasingly integrated into the health care system.
— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin