Yoga is no longer just that thing stay-at-home moms do while they wait for their child’s school day to end. The ancient Indian exercise has been found to have a number of benefits for everyone, bodybuilders included, ranging from better mental health to an improved immune system.
And now there’s one more benefit to doing yoga—it can help get rid of your throbbing back pain.
A review published in the journal Holistic Nursing Practice found people who practiced long-duration yoga had drastic reductions in back pain and stopped using painkillers to deal with aches. The benefits were found in people suffering from one-time back pain to chronic sufferers.
Tai chi and qigong (a martial arts-style exercise form) also had benefits, though not as pronounced as yoga’s.
The researchers believe the findings could lead physicians to prescribe yoga for patients suffering back pain instead of addictive painkillers and opiates.
“Our review provides emerging evidence that movement-based mind-body interventions could benefit veterans and others experiencing chronic low back pain,” Cheryl Krause-Parello, Ph.D., the review’s co-author, said in a release.
Back pain is more than an annoyance—it can lead to decreased mobility, which can affect people’s lives and job performance. The studies the researchers looked at found that people who started yoga as a means to treat back pain stuck with it, and there was only one case where a person suffered further injury (though it’s unknown if that was due to yoga or external factors).
If that’s not enough to sell you on it, consider that six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates took up the practice and has said it has changed his life. Wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page has also opened his own yoga business and has transformed many, from helping a man lose nearly more than 100 pounds to helping a disabled veteran defy the odds and walk on his own again.
So roll out the mats and get moving.