Yoga & Science

Dr Erich Anderer: Yoga & the Spine

Dr. Erich Anderer identifies yoga as an important means of maintaining spinal health and avoiding surgery, and also notes that yoga can potentially provide benefits when dealing with somatic disease processes. Dr. Anderer is chief of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, and an assistant professor of neurosurgery in the NYU School of Medicine. He specializes in minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery, but is interested in self-care and yoga as both a preventive measure and effective treatment of neck and back pain.

Born in Japan and raised in NYC, Dr. Anderer’s family utilized a Reiki and Shiatsu practitioner, in conjunction with the family physician, for preventative health care and maintenance. Anderer identifies the need for hard data about the practical benefits of yoga, and he hopes that this data will lead to insurance companies covering yoga for patients. He notes how spinal pain is not being completely treated by surgery, how opiates do not work for everyone, and how some of these drugs can ultimately be a harmful means of treating chronic back pain. Anderer aims to investigate ways of reducing the use of opiates in post-surgical patients, and he hopes to discover ways that yoga can be implemented instead.

While he acknowledges that yoga does not have full scientific recognition, Anderer points out the fact that yoga is recognized as effective treatment for back pain, and that there is little evidence pointing towards yoga being harmful. While he notes that the link between how yoga may work to help patients dealing with psychiatric disease needs to be explored further, Dr. Anderer believes that yoga should be considered an important modality in the maintenance of general health.

04:35 | 2019

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