Yoga: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Back Pain Sufferers?

Specialised group Yoga Classes could provide a cost-effective way of treating patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain, according to the UK’s largest ever study of the benefits of Yoga.

Led by the University of York, and funded by Arthritis Research UK, the study provides an evaluation of a specially-developed 12-week group yoga intervention programme compared to conventional general practitioner (GP) care alone.

The results published in Spine, show that the Yoga intervention programme — “Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs” — is likely to be cost effective for both the UK National Health Service and wider society.

The cost assumed for yoga intervention is important in determining whether this is an efficient use of NHS resources. As Yoga classes are not currently available through the NHS, the researchers examined a range of possible costs.

They conclude that if the NHS was to offer specialist yoga and managed to maintain the cost below £300 per patient (for a cycle of 12 classes), there is a high probability (around 70 per cent) of the yoga intervention being cost effective.

Researchers also found that those taking part in the yoga programme had far fewer days off work than those in the control group. On average, a control group participant reported 12 days off due to back pain, whereas those in the yoga group had four days off.  Continue reading Yoga: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Back Pain Sufferers?

Hip resurfacing prone to failure

An operation used instead of a full hip replacement has a high failure rate and, in most instances, should no longer be offered, warn doctors.

Their advice is based on figures from the largest database on hip surgery.

Hip resurfacing – where the damaged bone is capped rather than replaced – is often recommended for younger, active patients who will need more surgery as the joint continues to wear.

Medical regulators say they will look at the Lancet journal findings.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has already advised annual checks for people with large head metal-on-metal full hip replacements due to safety concerns. It is thought tiny pieces of metal can break off and leak into the blood.

The current study did not look at the safety of the metal resurfacing implants, although the researchers say there could be the same theoretical safety risk as with metal-on-metal hips.

Instead it looked at failure rates with metal-on-metal resurfacing – where the socket and ball of the hip bone has a metal surface applied to it rather than being totally replaced.

About seven in every 100 hip patients go for resurfacing rather than a full hip replacement, although the rate has been decreasing in recent years.

Some 32,000 people in England and Wales had this type of surgery between April 2003 and September 2011. Continue reading Hip resurfacing prone to failure