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Yoga Is One of the Top 10 Complementary Health Approaches

More than 13 million adults in the U.S. practiced yoga in the previous year.1

Yoga use increased from 5.1% to 6.1% between 2002 and 2007.1

Why People Practice Yoga2

58% do it to maintain health and well-being

16% use it to treat specific medical conditions

10.5% use it for musculoskeletal conditions

Of those who used yoga for specific conditions, 22% said their doctor recommended it

Back pain is the number one reason people use complementary health practices3

Yoga’s Impact on Low-Back Pain

Back pain is the number one reason people use complementary health practices. Studies found people practicing yoga who experience low-back pain had:

  • Significantly less disability, pain, and depression after 6 months than patients in standard care.4
  • More pain relief than from a self-care book.5
  • Better function than usual medical care.6

Practice Yoga Safely

Follow these tips to minimize your risk of injury:

  • Talk to your care provider
  • Find a trained and experienced yoga practitioner
  • Adapt poses to your individual needs and abilities

September 2013

To learn more, visit nccih.nih.gov

Back to Full Infographic: Yoga as a Complementary Health Approach


1  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr012.pdf (299KB PDF)

2  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533368/

3  http://thelancet.com/themed/global-burden-of-disease

4  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19701112

5  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22025101

6  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22041945

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This page last modified February 12, 2015