Iyengar yoga has been proven to help ease back pain, and researchers in Germany and Austria recently investigated whether it could also help patients with neck pain. A study team at Berlin’s Charité-University Medical Center, as well as study centers elsewhere in Germany and Austria, assigned 38 neck pain patients to learn yoga, and 39 participants to an exercise group. Because of dropouts, only 25 patients remained in the yoga group and 28 in the exercise group. They all completed questionnaires about pain and discomfort when the study began, again at four weeks and after 10 weeks of participation. Results showed significant pain reduction in the yoga group, which the investigators suggested might be due muscle toning and the release of muscle tension stemming from the yoga sessions. The researchers concluded that Iyengar yoga could be as safe and effective a treatment for chronic neck pain as it is for low back pain. They noted that some 20 percent of the population suffers from chronic neck pain and conventional treatment, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, doesn’t always work and can cause side effects including nausea and dizziness. The study was published in the November, 2012, issue of the Journal of Pain.