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A 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.