Who would have thought yoga could benefit your health? A new study claims performing a single yoga pose for 90 seconds for at least 3 days a week could reduce spine curvature in patients with scoliosis in as little as 3 months.
The researchers, including Dr. Loren Fishman of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY, publish their findings in the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine.
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to the side - affects around 6 million people in the US and is accountable for more than 600,000 doctor visits each year. Although scoliosis can affect all age groups, onset is most common between the ages of 10-15.
Severe scoliosis is defined as a spine curvature of more than 45 degrees - is usually treated with surgery. There are non-surgery techniques available for patients with spine curvatures less than 45 degrees - one of the most common being bracing.
Every year, around 30,000 children and adolescents with scoliosis are fitted with a brace that is worn for around 23 hours a day, helping to straighten the childen's spines as they grow.
The researchers note that a popular bracing method - most commonly used in adolescent girls - requires patients to attend 40 2-hour sessions, three times a week for 3-4 months. The patients are then urged to carry out lifelong exercises for 30 minutes a day.
"Since many scoliosis patients are adolescent girls, the unwieldy bracing and lengthy exercising is socially awkward, emotionally painful and physically difficult," says Dr. Fishman. "And yet untreated scoliosis can progress at 7% per year, and result in disability and life-threatening health risks."