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The objective of the current study was to find out whether yoga practice was beneficial to the spine by comparing degenerative disc disease in the spines of long-time yoga practitioners and non-yoga practicing controls, using an objective measurement tool, magnetic resonance imaging. This matched case-control study comprised 18 yoga instructors with teaching experience of more than 10 years and 18 non-yoga practicing asymptomatic individuals randomly selected from a health checkup database. A validated grading scale was used to grade the condition of cervical and lumbar discs seen in magnetic resonance imaging of the spine, and the resulting data analyzed statistically. The mean number of years of yoga practice for the yoga group was 12.9 +/- 7.5. The overall (cervical + lumbar) disc scores of the yoga group were significantly lower (indicating less degenerative disc disease) than those of the control group (P < 0.001). The scores for the cervical vertebral discs of the yoga group were also significantly lower than those of the control group (P < 0.001), while the lower scores for the yoga group in the lumbar group approached, but did not reach, statistical significance (P = 0.055). The scores for individual discs of yoga practitioners showed significantly less degenerative disease at three disc levels, C3/C4, L2/L3 and L3/L4 (P < 0.05). Magnetic resonance imaging showed that the group of long-term practitioners of yoga studied had significantly less degenerative disc disease than a matched control group.
Department of Radiology, Cathay General Hospital, No. 280, Jen-Ai Road Sec. 4, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, ROC, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
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The replacement of intervertebral discs in the spinal column with artificial devices. The procedure is done in the lumbar or cervical spine to relieve severe pain resulting from INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DEGENERATION.
Outgrowth of immature bony processes or bone spurs (OSTEOPHYTE) from the VERTEBRAE, reflecting the presence of degenerative disease and calcification. It commonly occurs in cervical and lumbar SPONDYLOSIS.
A degenerative joint disease involving the SPINE. It is characterized by progressive deterioration of the spinal articular cartilage (CARTILAGE, ARTICULAR), usually with hardening of the subchondral bone and outgrowth of bone spurs (OSTEOPHYTE).
An INTERVERTEBRAL DISC in which the NUCLEUS PULPOSUS has protruded through surrounding ANNULUS FIBROSUS. This occurs most frequently in the lower lumbar region.
Degenerative changes in the INTERVERTEBRAL DISC due to aging or structural damage, especially to the vertebral end-plates.
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