Meditation Might be an Effective Treatment for Reducing Chronic Neck Pain
According to research recently reported in The Journal of Pain chronic neck pain can lead to serious other health problems such as depression. Individuals suffering with chronic neck pain frequently experience distress. Meditation has been increasingly used as a supportive treatment for individuals with chronic pain.
Previous research has shown that chronic pain is associated with distress and that meditation has stress relieving benefits. German researchers compared the effects of meditation on pain, perceived stress and psychological well being. They hypothesized that an eight-week meditation program would decrease pain more effectively than a standardized exercise program and that pain relief will coincide with stress reduction.
For the study, 89 patients who reported chronic neck pain for an average period of 11 years showed increased perceived stress were randomized into meditation and exercise program groups. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and after eight weeks. Results showed that meditation training significantly reduced pain when compared to the exercise group and pain-related "bothersomeness" decreased more in the meditation group as well. The authors concluded that meditation has unique benefits for producing pain relief and for pain coping.