IF YOU don’t suffer from it yourself from time to time you almost certainly know someone who does.

Lower back pain, once referred to as lumbago, affects 30 per cent of the population at any one time and is regularly cited as one of the main reasons people take time off work.

It can be caused by anything from bad posture to pregnancy, and at its worst can seriously affect a person’s ability to work or even carry out simple day-to-day tasks.

As with any common ailment, there is a range of options available for sufferers, including exercise, pain relief injections or complementary medicines.

In research published recently by Arthritis Research UK, the charity claims that out of all complementary therapies for arthritis, Yoga scored highest for low back pain.

Anna Semlyen, who has more than 12 years experience in specialist therapeutic yoga, believes she can offer relief to sufferers of lower pack pain in York, and is so confident, she is offering a “money-back guarantee” if you don’t feel the benefit of her special course, the first of which begins tomorrow.

Anna, 43, who is also a busy mother, said: “Yoga is proven. It’s an ideal way to self-manage pain and increase strength and flexibility. This class is for anyone wanting to help their back or regain confidence.

“Exercises are easy and mainly involve sitting or lying down. Yet they work. Total beginners to yoga are welcome. It really makes a difference to quality of life.”

She said lower back pain is caused by all kinds of things. It could be strain, it could be an injury, it could be sciatic nerve problems. You may have damaged yourself through sport.

“It’s very difficult to diagnose, but whatever back pain you have you need to exercise and this course is designed to help you. It’s done in a very very careful way and there is homework.

Based on the latest available evidence gained from the University of York trials, she said lessons give a gently progressive series of exercises to relieve pain and strengthen the body. Colour hand-outs, a book and a relaxation audio CD help you practise at home.

The recent report from Arthritis Research UK came following a study of four conditions, with 75 trials across 14 therapies.

Eight therapies scored only one or two.

Evidence for Alexander technique, osteopathy and relaxation was promising, scoring three. There was also good evidence in support of acupuncture and yoga which scored four and five.

Anna said: “Based on the latest proven research, I’m so confident that I can help your back with yoga that I offer a money-back guarantee.”

She said: “I would like to make York the back health capital of the UK.”

The Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs course begins tomorrow, from 7.15pm to 8.30pm, at the Friends’ Meeting House in Friargate and costs £100 for the six-week course. Pre-booking is essential.

A second course is also planned for February.

She said the full 12-week course is cost effective at reducing days off work for chronic back pain sufferers. Phone Anna on 01904 654355 or 07891 989310 or email her on anna@yogainyork.co.uk Also visit yogainyork.co.uk or yogaforbacks.co.uk