Yoga for Neck Pain

neck massageA new study published in the Journal of Pain showed that Iyengar Yoga was an effective treatment for students suffering from chronic neck pain. Patients who practiced yoga also reported a higher quality of life.

For the study 25 patients  practiced Iyengar Yoga once a week for 90 minutes for 9 weeks, while the control group of 28 patients took part in a self-care exercise program. Both groups were asked to complete a questionnaire at the outset of the study, after 4 weeks, and after 10 weeks.

The results showed that chronic neck pain patients reported improvements in pain level at rest and in motion. Researchers noted possible additional improvements in pain-related apprehension, disability, psychological well-being, and quality of life. The findings were significant, but should be tested further with longer observation periods, said the abstract.

Why was yoga more effective than the self-care exercise program for neck pain? Researchers hypothesized that the combination of muscle toning and releasing muscle tension created a relaxation response that helped ease pain, according to a report by Physical Therapy Products magazine.

The abstract is available here.