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A recent study on how yoga helps those in back pain, led by the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK, was UK’s largest ever study of the benefits of yoga. The study put participants on a 12-week long group yoga programme aside from the usual conventional care alone. The study proved that yoga could provide a cost-effective way of treating patients with chronic or recurring lower back pains.

As of now, the UK National Health Service (NHS) do not have yoga classes available. However, based on an estimation from researchers, they came to a conclusion that the cost will be below £300 per patient for a total of twelve classes. In other words, the chances of these yoga programmes being cost effective are pretty high (70%). This is in comparison with the annual cost that the NHS and the health care sector spend, £1.37 billion and £2.10 billion. In fact, back pains are the most commonly treated conditions in the UK. On average, 2.6 million people seek assistance from their general practitioners every year.

Aside from the cost effectiveness that yoga has to offer, researchers also realise that those who take part in the yoga programme had fewer days off from work compared to those who did not participate. For the normal group without any yoga involvement, they were reported taking an average of twelve days off due to back pain. This translated into a cost of £1202. As for those who took part in the yoga programme, they only took four days off from work, which cost £374.

“Back pain represents a significant burden to the NHS in the UK and to society as a whole. As well as the associated health care costs, it is also a major cause of work absenteeism which leads to a productivity loss to society. While yoga has been shown as an effective intervention for treating chronic and low back pain, until now there has been little evidence on its cost effectiveness. In our study we evaluated a specially-designed yoga class package by using individual-level data from a multi-centred randomised controlled trial. On the basis of the 12-month trial, we conclude that 12 weekly group classes of specialised yoga are likely to provide a cost-effective intervention for the treatment of patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain,” explained Chief Investigator Professor David Torgerson, the Director of York Trials Unit, in the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences. For more information on their findings, please read it here.

Having problems with back pains? Why not give yoga a try? It could be the perfect remedy for you. If you are looking for yoga classes in Singapore, check out OMG Yoga! We offer private and personalise yoga classes at the comfort of our clients’ premises.

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