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Yoga has many benefits. It keeps the bones agile, the inflammation levels low, and releases toxins. A German study published in The Journal of Pain showed that yoga appears to be an effective treatment for neck pain and provides added benefits of improved psychological well being and quality of life.
According to published estimates, some 20 percent of the population suffers from chronic neck pain caused by a variety of structural dysfunctions in the neck, resulting in impaired quality of life and lost work time. The Journal of Pain is the per-review publication of the American Pain Society.
The mainstay of conservative treatment for neck pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and the evidence of its effectiveness is contradictory while side effects, such as nausea and dizziness, are well known. The authors noted that one type of yoga, called lyengar yoga, has been shown effective in other pain syndromes, including low back pain. This activity uses supportive props and the sequences of postures can be tailored to address an individual’s medical problem.
The findings showed there was a significant and clinically important reduction in pain intensity in the yoga group. Relaxation responses reduces stress related muscle tension and modifies neurobiological pain perception. They concluded, based on the study data, that lyengar yoga can be a safe and effective treatment option for chronic neck pain. The study results are consistent with the demonstrated benefits of yoga for treating low back pain.
American Pain Society. “Yoga shown effective for treating chronic neck pain.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127093857.htm>.