It’s been widely accepted that yoga can help with lower back pain. But, a new study from Immanuel Hospital in Berlin has indicated that yoga can also help reduce chronic neck pain as well.
There are several different causes of chronic neck pain, including many different structural dysfunctions in the neck, and the results can include impaired quality of life and lost work time. The Berlin study was published in the Journal of Pain and its data show that yoga can be an effective treatment for neck pain. The study also indicates added benefits, including improved psychological well-being and quality of life.
The most frequent chronic neck pain is treated is through the use of anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs). But, recent studies show that such drugs may be ineffective for chronic pain, while triggering side effects such as nausea and dizziness. Yoga, on the other hand, is known only for its positive side effects.
A specific type of yoga known as “Iyengar yoga” has been shown effective for pain treatments, including low back pain, and is easier to start than some other types. In Iyengar yoga, supportive props can be used, and the various postures can be tailored to specific medical issues. This marks the first study specifically examining Iyengar yoga’s effectiveness for chronic neck pain.
Researchers compared the use of Iyengar yoga to normal exercise in 77 patients, with an average age of 48. They found that pain intensity was significantly reduced in the yoga group. They believed that was due to yoga enhancing muscle tone and relieving muscle tension. The relaxation aspect of yoga reduced stress-related tension on the neck muscles and also changed the way the brain perceived pain.
Yoga is regarded as safe and a therapy that provides a wide range of benefits.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
A Specific Yoga Can Help Treat Neck Pain
Michalsen, A., et al., “Yoga for Chronic Neck Pain: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial,” The Journal of Pain. 2012; 13 (11): 1,122.