Almost everyone knows a sore neck. Anyone who moves little, has to sit a lot in everyday life and, for example, keeps his eyes fixed on a screen for hours, knows a stiff, tense neck muscle only too well. In some, the pain gradually becomes intolerable permanent condition. One study gives new hope to those suffering from chronic neck pain: regular meditation is ideal as a side-effect-free and effective therapy. Gentle self-help also soothes pain-related depression.
Recurrent neck pain is associated with severe tension and cramping of the musculature and connective tissue in the neck and shoulder region.
The pain in the neck is now even become a veritable common disease, because many people spend their everyday work hours at the desk – often with unhealthy crooked back and shoulders hanging forward.
Stress and performance pressure in hectic everyday life do the rest to overload the body systems.
If these structures are overstrained and contracted due to bad posture and mental stress, painful stiffness of the neck and unpleasant restrictions on movement occur.
If such symptoms persist for more than three months, doctors speak of chronic pain.
Stress and chronic long-term pain are often followed by mental lows that often end in debilitating depression . The pain-afflicted feel impulsive, discouraged and anxious. The concentration and work performance usually suffers considerably from the ongoing stress.
German researchers have now found out: Who does not get his neck discomfort with ordinary home remedies such as a heat pad, massages, movement or stretching exercises under control, can proceed with regularly performed meditation units successfully against the intense pain perception, tension and mental suffering.
A study published in the Journal of Pain shows the results of two randomized patient groups whose subjects all suffered from chronic neck pain and increased stress levels.
While one group participated in a specific exercise program, participants in the other group were instructed to meditate.
The researchers compared the treatment effects in the total of 89 subjects with respect to changes in pain perception, stress levels and general mental well-being.
After eight weeks of treatment, participants in meditation training were able to reduce their pain perception more than those in the movement group.
The psychological side effects such as depressive moods also decreased more among the meditators than among the athletes.
Meditating seems to help the pain-stricken to a more relaxed handling of the demands of everyday life. Body and mind can relax together and regulate the sensation of pain down.
Also, the vicious circle of pain and the fear of more pain seems to be so effectively broken.
The scientists realized that the meditation technique is a uniquely powerful method for effective pain relief and pain management.
Ideally, a gentle exercise program should be integrated into everyday life, which relaxes and trains the neck, shoulder and back muscles.
This additionally supports the reduction of the movement pain, improves the mobility of the head, the mental general feeling and the quality of life.
With meditation and exercise as therapy components, you not only get a grip on your neck pain, but at the same time you actively manage preventive measures to prevent other stress-related illnesses .
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