Individual Back Pain Case Studies

2016 A 

– NHS Patient on ‘GP Surgery’ Quality Improvement Project (GP Trainee)

Congenital spinal disorder, spondylolisthesis, disc herniation, facet joint issues, couldn’t put heels to floor at start of course = balance = difficult.

Off work for 6 months; had tried lots of NHS and non-NHS treatments,

Retail supervisor (People at work noticed a difference in how I stand and move),

Father (Amazing to be able to walk and play with my kids)

“I have just completed a 12-week Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs course and I have had major benefit from it.

The course has helped me get past a plateau in my recovery and enabled my return to work after a 6-month absence.

I am not a natural fit for the generally perceived view of yoga – I am far from lithe and flexible and have a suspicion of ‘mysticism and spirituality’ – however I am now quite evangelical about the course.

I have become an active participant in my own recovery and have been equipped with skills that have helped my health and well-being in many ways.

I wholeheartedly recommend the course for anyone suffering with persistent lower back pain or even an intermittent grumble. Thank you to ……. everyone involved with the research and development of the programme.”


2018 M

– NHS Patient On ‘GP Surgery Subsidised YHLB’

– Spinal Fusion L5/S1 1989.  Chronic widespread pain (8/10) and symptoms, including lumbar, plus lower limbs and arms/hands.

After Class 1Tears of relief flowed on the way home!  A number of the positions you showed us gave blessed release and that was wonderful. I just wish I’d known about your work 17 years ago!
I am doing the CD twice a day and working through the various pain-relieving positions.
I just know that your course is the key I’ve been looking for.”

Post-CourseAfter 30 years of managing my back, I felt with this last bout of months of pain that I’d come to a point where I’d just have to accept the limitations of movement, the daily use of Pregabalin and anti-inflammatories and adapt to a much less active life.  I thought I’d done well to have 30 years of manageable pain but my time was up now and I’d have to accept my back pain as a disability.~
How wrong I was!  This yoga course has given me back my life.  From the first session showing me how to relieve my pain, through relaxation and specific poses through to posture, breath, stretching and fine-tuning poses to get extra benefit, the whole course has taught me so much.  I always thought my posture was good, but I now tweak my position when standing, sitting and importantly walking, finding relief in all sorts of situations.
I’ve done yoga before but this training gives is so specific and personalized.  The teacher can tell where my pain is from looking at me – and how to relive it.  No nonsense – just the right balance of empathy, skill and guidance.  She KNOWS she can improve people’s mobility, strength and pain management and that confidence rubs off!
Thank you so very much for subsidising this course for me – I am forever grateful.”
Outcome Measure Scores
9/10 – Positive benefits from yoga skills with regards to back
9/10 – Positive benefits from yoga skills with regards to general health
10/10 – Yoga impacting daily life
Practised 4-5 times a week throughout the course.  Yes! will practice twice a week or more.  Will attend ‘Refresher’ Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs class from time to time and intend to attend a regular local yoga class if possible.
Extremely Likely” to Recommend to Friends and Family – “I am a YHLB Ambassador!”
Obstacles – “Initially price and long drive to venue.  Worth every penny and minute!”
Back Function – Pre-Course = 13/24; Post-Course = 3; Improvement = -10 (1.79+ = significant)
VAS (Visual Pain Scale 0-10) – Pre-Course = 8/10; Post-Course = 4; Improvement = -4
Biopsychosocial – Totals Pre-Course = 55/70; Post-Course = 22; Improvement = -33/70
Depression – Pre-Course = 8/10; Post-Course = 2; Improvement = -6
Anxiety – Pre-Course = 7/10; Post-Course = 3; Improvement = -4
Control pain by myself – Pre-Course = 8/10; Post-Course = 2; Improvement = -6
Pain Affecting Work – Pre-Course = 9/10; Post-Course = 4; Improvement = -7

YHLB Yoga - Reclined Cobbler Pose

2017 T 

– Private sector; GP encouraged to attend.
(Heard about course from a 30-yr old male working on superyachts who ‘avoided disc surgery’ and kept in work through YHLB.)
Herniated Disc L4/L5 (MRI Dec 2016) – Was considering surgery as still experiencing symptoms before YHLB – Severe sciatic nerve pain to lower leg.  Knee injury problems.
Post-Course –After 12 months of pain and 2 months of physio plus other forms of help and consultant appointments, this yoga course gave me relief after the second session… improving thereafter until recovery.  Even at Class 1, I found some yoga positions where my shooting pain disappeared.
After the full course – This has fixed me and I have tools to help myself.
No surgery now for back or knee and feel I can happily continue with my job.
Amazing.  It’s seems miraculous to me!”
3 months after the course – I am living a normal life with regards to my back, lifting things correctly, skiing and snowboard like a youngster!  All thanks to this yoga – I will never forget it!  Great to have this fundamental yoga and back-care knowledge.”
A Year Later –
Everyone should do this course.”
Outcome Measure Scores
10/10 – Positive benefits from yoga skills with regards to back
10/10 – Positive benefits from yoga skills with regards to general health
10/10 – Yoga impacting daily life
Practised Daily throughout the course
Will attend ‘Refresher’ Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs class occasionally, but have tools.
“Extremely Likely” to Recommend to Friends and Family
Everyone should do this course.”
Back Function – Pre-Course = 22/24; Post-Course = 4; Improvement = -18
VAS (Visual Pain Scale 0-10) – Pre-Course = 7; Post-Course = 2; Improvement = -5
Biopsychosocial – Totals Pre-Course = 32/70; Post-Course = 15; Improvement = -17
Depression – Pre-Course = 5/10; Post-Course = 1; Improvement = -4
Anxiety – Pre-Course = 7/10; Post-Course = 2; Improvement = -5
Control pain by myself – Pre-Course = 1/10; Post-Course = 0; Improvement = -1
Pain Affecting Work – Pre-Course = 5/10; Post-Course = 4; Improvement = -1

Brief Case Studies


– “A life-changing experience, after years of frustration.”


Case Study A – NHS Pilot YHLB Course Attendee 2016.

Thanks very much for running the course! It’s great to see the NHS, and the Penryn practice in particular, taking a proactive approach to back issues. I’m firmly convinced that empowering people to tackle things themselves is the best way forward.

Case Study B – NHS Pilot YHLB Course Attendee 2016

I’m a yoga sceptic…but..having had over 4 months’ off work with a spinal condition I was probably born with now causing me major problems, I can’t believe the yoga is helping me… already after just two classes….I also can’t believe I actually enjoy it (neither can my work-mates!).

Case Study C – NHS Pilot YHLB Course Attendee 2016

My back surgery was a couple of years’ ago, but I am feeling stronger and more positive already from this yoga.  (Wife).   This is jolly good value.  (Husband.  Contributing £100 each to 12-week course costs.)

Case Study D – NHS Pilot YHLB Course Attendee 2016

Amazing.  It’s really brilliant, as it’s reminding me how to feel relaxed and how to breathe well (helpful for my asthma and mental health).

Case Study 1

A retired fireman, ex-military, with over 40 years of severe back pain is delighted with the amazing results he has experienced from just 12 simple classes of YHLB.

Case Study 2

YHLB Yoga Pose of Child Case Study

A Cornish trial participant in The University of York’s trial, who began the YHLB programme unable to work with severe back pain and accompanying depression, found that by week 11 of the 12-week programme she was “95% cured” of the herniated disc that had at last been diagnosed after a long delay. No surgery.

Case Study 3

A lady with severe and disabling back pain spent almost a year in agony before receiving surgery for her unrelenting herniated disc.  After surgery, she was unable to regain confidence in her ability to live happily in her body and was regularly attending hospital consultant appointments.  After only a few classes of the Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs programme, she felt optimistic about finally gaining control over her health and fitness again and after completion of the course, she is ‘eternally grateful’ and is looking forward to a happy retirement.

Case Study 4

A father who had been unable to work for years after a traumatic back injury found that attending the gradually progressing Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs course was the ‘clearest and most positive experience’ out of the ‘multiple and confusing treatment options’ he had been offered and tried.  He described it as ‘turning a corner at last’.

Case Study 5

A lady with back pain and arthritis says that the 12-week YHLB programme has, in her late 60s given her the tools to know how to look after her health for the long-term.  She practices the yoga wherever she travels and wishes more elderly people could be given this opportunity.  “It’s more effective than physio and less painful.” said her husband who also later did the course.

Case Study 6

A physiotherapist back pain specialist attended the YHLB course for professional reasons and was impressed with the evidence-base, structure, pace, clarity of instruction, appropriateness, efficacy potential for a range of conditions, and the educational resources that aid self-management.  Greatly improved his frozen shoulder.

Case Study 7

Lady who frequently ‘ends up in A&E with scary excruciating back pain’ is amazed at how after only 4 YHLB classes, she has learnt tools to control her fear, panic and muscle spasms = no more A&E visits.

Case Study 8

Elderly lady with scoliosis after two decades of large amounts of painkiller medication usage says “I can see how this programme really helps with depression.  It has opened up new corners of my mind.”

Case Study 9

Middle-aged NHS senior nurse forced to give up work due to back pain.  After surgery, still not recovered enough to function in daily life, it was only the yoga that helped her to turn her life around… beginning the rest of her life with a daily dose of yoga, to help her physically and energetically.

Case Study 10

Young man, unable to walk or sit due to back and sciatic pain from two herniated discs, began the YHLB yoga whilst awaiting spinal surgery.  Within a few days, he could walk with his heel down on the floor again, could stand upright, and could relieve his pain completely most of the time.  Within a couple of weeks, he cancelled his surgery due to his confidence in the effectiveness of the yoga.  Within a couple of months, he was back working on super-yachts and has never looked back – using yoga tools only when he feels a twinge or ache.

Case Study 11

“Hurrah.  Thanks to this yoga, I am now off the dreaded amitriptyline and feel so much better. I couldn’t function at work before.”

Case Study 12

Middle-aged man pleased to find that YHLB yoga prevented him needing his usual two x 3-4 days of time off work due to regular winter episodes of back pain.  His wife also pleased to find her blood pressure went down due to practising the relaxation CD along with him daily.

Go to our YouTube ‘ Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ Channel for short video testimonials.