"In order to have a holistic approach to one's well being, you want to get to the physical, the psychological, the emotional and the spiritual," said Galantino, a yoga instructor. "That is integrated care. If done with proper breathing, postures and meditation, yoga does all of that. You have to have all of the elements. If we westernize it and make it solely an athletic program, then you may not receive all of the benefits."
Though there are many causes of lower back pain, the culprit is often a herniated disc or arthritis. Though people suffering from back pain may worry that exercise could make the pain worse, it's not likely to as long as you don't overdo it, Albert said.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on back pain.
SOURCES: Todd J. Albert, M.D., chairman, department of orthopedics, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the Rothman Institute, Philadephia; Mary Lou Galantino, PT, Ph.D., professor, physical therapy, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; September 2009 Spine