Neck pain Lizzie Reumont by


Whether you’ve got a bad neck because you’re stressed or because you spend your days slumped over a computer, yoga can be an effective neck pain treatment.

Yoga teaches us awareness of our bad posture – our habit of sitting with a curved spine and rounded shoulders. When we notice how we sit and stand, we take the first steps to improving our posture and alignment.

Yoga asana (physical postures) can help us gently stretch muscles to release the tension that causes neck pain. Practiced consciously, these slow movements on the breath can also calm the nervous system.

Clinical studies suggest that yoga can improve range of motion and give sufferers a greater sense of control, renewing participation in active life.

Also see Back pain

What the clinical studies say

  • Better coping strategies
  • Greater emotional acceptance
  • Improved body awareness
  • Increased perceived control
  • Renewed participation in an active life
  • Significant improvement in Cervical Range of Motion (CROM)
  • Significant improvement in Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hands (DASH) score
  • Significant improvement in Neck Disability Index (NDI)
  • Significant improvement in Pressure Pain Threshold (PPT) for Trigger Points
  • Significant improvement in Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)

The clinical studies

I'm more in balance: a qualitative study of yoga for patients with chronic neck pain.
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness


This study investigated the perceived influence of yoga on body perception and psychosocial aspects of life for patients with chronic neck pain.


This qualitative study was conducted using semi standardized interviews. Setting: The interventions and interviews took place in a referral center's research department.


Eighteen (18) patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain were recruited from a larger randomized controlled trial of yoga for chronic neck pain.


Participants attended 90 minutes of Iyengar yoga once a week for 9 weeks.

Outcome measures:

Participants completed a drawing of their neck and shoulder regions to reflect their subjective body perceptions before and after their yoga program. Semi standardized interviews were used to explore their body perception, emotional status, everyday life and coping skills, as well as any perceived changes in these dimensions post participation. An interdisciplinary group analyzed the study data using content analysis techniques.


Participants reported change on five dimensions of human experience: physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social. Physically, most participants cited renewed body awareness, both during their yoga practice and in their daily lives. Such change was echoed in their post participation body drawings. Cognitively, participants reported increased perceived control over their health. Emotionally, they noted greater acceptance of their pain and life burdens. Behaviorally, they described enhanced use of active coping strategies. Finally, socially, they reported renewed participation in an active life.


Participants linked yoga to change on all dimensions of human experience, attributing reduced pain levels, increased coping ability, better pain acceptance and increased control to it. Body awareness appeared a key mechanism in these changes.


H Cramer | R Lauche | H Haller | J Langhorst | G Dobos | B Berger


Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume / Issue

Author's primary institution

Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Effect of yoga on the Myofascial Pain Syndrome of neck.
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) refers to pain attributed to muscle and its surrounding fascia, which is associated with “myofascial trigger points” (MTrPs). MTrPs in the trapezius has been proposed as the main cause of temporal and cervicogenic headache and neck pain.

Literature shows that the prevalence of various musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among physiotherapists is high. Yoga has traditionally been used to treat MSDs in various populations. But there is scarcity of literature which explains the effects of yoga on reducing MPS of the neck in terms of various physical parameters and subjective responses.

Therefore, a pilot study was done among eight physiotherapists with minimum six months of experience. A structured yoga protocol was designed and implemented for five days in a week for four weeks. The outcome variables were Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hands (DASH) score, Neck Disability Index (NDI), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Pressure Pain Threshold (PPT) for Trigger Points, Cervical Range of Motion (CROM) - active & passive, grip and pinch strengths.

The variables were compared before and after the intervention. Finally, the result revealed that all the variables (DASH: P<0.00, NDI: P<0.00, VAS: P<0.00, PPT: Left: P<0.00, PPT: Right: P<0.00, Grip strength: left: P<0.00, Grip strength: right: P<0.01, Key pinch: left: P<0.01, Key pinch: right: P<0.01, Palmar pinch: left: P<0.01, Palmar pinch: right: P<0.00, Tip pinch: left: P<0.01, Tip pinch: Right: P<0.01) improved significantly after intervention.


D Sharan | M Manjula | D Urmi | P Ajeesh


International Journal of Yoga
Volume / Issue

Author's primary institution

Academics Department, RECOUP Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation Center, Bangalore, India.

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