How “Rat Yoga” Is Unraveling the Mystery of Back Pain

Posted On: October 10th, 2017

How “Rat Yoga” Is Unraveling the Mystery of Back Pain

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Clinical and Research News recently published a video and accompanying article highlighting Dr. Helene Langevin’s research on the effects of stretching on back pain.

The BWH article explains:
“Langevin has studied back pain for many years. While physicians often look at the spine, discs between vertebrae and nerves as the culprit of back pain, Langevin focuses on fascia — a type of connective tissue.

‘Fascia is a really interesting part of the body that people haven’t paid much attention to. It’s the tissue that connects everything,’ said Langevin.

When inflammation arises in the fascia, it creates pain and limits mobility. Recently, Langevin’s research has centered on the role that stretching and physical manipulation of this tissue can play in treating back pain.

Langevin first began using rats to study yoga while working at the University of Vermont in 2012. A student interested in yoga and the effects of stretching on back pain and inflammation found that rats and mice naturally grab onto the surface in front of them when lifted by the tail, making them a great fit for studying the effects of stretching.

Langevin’s lab also found that this stretch increased the length between the rodent’s shoulders and hips by 25 percent and made for a perfect way to study the effects of stretching on back tissue.”


Read the full BWH Clinical and Research News article