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Yoga and Physical Therapy Found to Improve Sleep in People with Chronic Low Back Pain

Yoga and Physical Therapy Found to Improve Sleep in People with Chronic Low Back Pain

Low back pain is considered chronic when it lasts for more than three months, and may be caused by injury, disease, or stresses on different parts of the body. People with chronic low back pain often experience sleep disturbance. A recent study suggests that both yoga and physical therapy may help improve sleep quality in people suffering from chronic low back pain.

Participants in the study included 320 adults with chronic low back pain.  92% of the participants were experiencing sleep disturbance at the beginning of the study. They were assigned one of three 12-week interventions: weekly yoga classes, physical therapy, or reading educational materials. Sleep quality was evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at baseline, 12 weeks, and 52 weeks.

Participants who performed yoga or received physical therapy saw statistically significant improvements in sleep quality. Those who saw a greater than 30% improvement in pain or physical function after 6 weeks were more likely to experience better sleep quality after 12 weeks, compared to those who saw a less than 10% improvement.

The study was conducted by researchers from Boston Medical Center. It was published online ahead of print on October 30, 2019 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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