If you have low back pain, consider taking up yoga. A recent review by the Cochrane Collaboration looked at 12 randomized trials involving 1,080 people with chronic nonspecific low back pain and found that yoga resulted in small-to-moderate improvements in back-related function and pain after three and six monthscompared to no exercise. However, the review could not determine if yoga is more beneficial than back-focused exercise or whether yoga added to exercise is more effective than exercise alone.
The studies suggest that yoga caused more “adverse events” than not exercising, but the risk may be no greater than with other back-related exercise.
Earlier in 2017, new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain from the American College of Physicians continued to emphasize that nonpharmacologic treatments such as exercise (including yoga and tai chi), acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy be tried before medication.
If you have back or other musculoskeletal problems, look for a yoga instructor (or other exercise instructor) who understands your needs and limitations, and proceed with caution.