Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

Noelle Selkow


Low back pain (LBP) poses a significant long-term health problem and requires the exploration of complementary alternative medicines, such as yoga. LBP patients often present with a delay in the onset of contraction of core musculature, which is necessary to stabilize the spine in dynamic movements. The aim of this study was two-fold. First, it was to determine the effectiveness of a 4-week yoga intervention on the timing of muscle activation and activation ratio of the transversus abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus (LM) muscles among all participants. Second, it was to determine the effectiveness of a 4-week yoga intervention on the visual analogue pain scale (VAS) and functional disability levels as measured by the Oswestry disability index (ODI) among LBP participants. A controlled laboratory study was conducted in healthy participants (n=10) and those with LBP (n=14) between the ages of 18-30. All participants underwent a 30-minute bi-weekly 4-week yoga intervention for LBP taught by a certified yoga teacher. The primary outcome measures were the ODI, VAS, and TrA and LM muscle activation and timing. All outcomes were measured before and after the 4-week intervention. Statistical analyses of the results were performed using 2x2 analysis of variance for group comparison of the outcomes measures, and t-tests were used for intra-group comparison of the LBP participants. The pain scores were not significantly different between conditions (p=.239), but there was a strong effect size (0.87). The ODI scores were statistically significant (p=.049) but does not show clinical significance due to the weak effect size and confidence interval that crossed 0 (CI -0.55-0.94). There were no significant differences between the groups for muscle timing or thickness after 4 weeks of yoga for either TrA (p=.101) or LM (p=.437). A 4-week yoga intervention may provide benefits to participants with and without LBP for decreasing pain and functional disability however a larger and longer duration study may be required to provide more definite evidence.


Imported from ProQuest Sagadore_ilstu_0092N_10944.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Kinesiology Commons