"We physicians should refer our patients for exercise...
...practitioners should work to standardize treatments...
...and payers should encourage these treatments through minimization of copayments for therapies that have both effectiveness and modest cost,"...concludes a comparative effectiveness study on the benefits of yoga for chronic back pain.
The study, published online October 24th, 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that yoga and stretching exercises were superior to education provided by a primary care physician along with a self-care book.
The outcome measure used in the Archives study was the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ).
A seperate study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, published in November 2011, found that functional scores improved with yoga but chronic lower back pain scores did not improve.
I would like to see this study repeated with physical therapists providing the stretching and/or the yoga treatments.
Rather than studying the comparative effectiveness of branded treatments (eg: yoga) we should study the comparative effectiveness of branded professionals.