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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
 
December 04, 2012

Healing Flexibility: Yoga May Treat Neck Pain

Pull out those yoga mats! According to a new study, this meditative exercise can heal as much as it can give you an awesome workout. By Charlene J. Owen

Yoga isn't just a way to get fit; it's also a way to stretch your neck pains away.  This is according to a new German study published on The Journal of Pain and on ScienceDaily.com.

A non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication is a common treatment for neck pain, but the side effects (dizziness and nausea) that it causes outweigh its momentary benefits.  With the goal of finding a good alternative, researchers from the Charité-University Medical Center in Berlin focused on the advantages of movement, specifically in yoga.  

Researchers worked with 53 volunteers who are suffering from neck pain.  28 were assigned to regular group exercise, while 25 were asked to participate in classes of  Iyengar yoga, a type of movement that involves the use of supportive props.  

The results showed that those who underwent Iyengar yoga sessions had greater ache reduction than those who didn't.  This was due to the stretching, toning, and subsequent relaxing of muscles that change one's neurobiological perception of pain.  This type of movement has also been found to be effective in treating back muscle spasms.

There are many studios today that offer different yoga classes that would suit your needs.  Not only will signing up give you great exercise, but it will also give you the opportunity to loosen your muscles and de-stress your way to fitness.

(Photo by BrianLockwood via Flickr Creative Commons)

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