Chronic neck pain is frequently caused by stress and sedentary work with computers, which if left untreated, can progress into chronic health conditions. Research shows that stretching together with deep-slow breathing can reduce neck pain and reduce muscle tension.
By Kulwarang Wongwilairat
A recently published study from the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Health explores the effective combination of stretching with deep-slow breathing to reduce neck tension and promote relaxation within the shortest time possible. Performed at the workplace, the practice could benefit office workers suffering with chronic neck pain.
Two different treatment steps were carried out on thirty-two female participants with neck tension with five stretching patterns in total. The participants performed the different stretching patterns with and without deep-slow breathing, and also with their eyes open and closed. Immediately after the exercises, the researchers measured the muscle tension, pain score and heart rate variability of the patients.
They found that muscle tension and pain score decreased where the patterns were performed with the eyes closed compared to the patterns performed where the eyes were open. The slow stretching patterns performed with the eyes closed increased relaxation, which was indicated by the parasympathetic dominance of the heart rate variability, yet increased pain was also reported after the stretching.
The researchers concluded that a short stretching exercise period incorporated with deep-slow breathing promoted a positive effect of self-awareness and overall health conditions among the participants. However, the results varied among the individual participants. The authors stress that future studies should research training methods that can be performed individually and that self-awareness among sufferers should be encouraged, which will benefit both health practitioners and patients.
Read the original article here.
Kulwarang Wongwilairat, Orawan Buranruk, Wichai Eungpinichpong, Rungthip Puntumetakul, Somporn Kantharadussadee-Triamchaisri: Muscle stretching with deep and slow breathing patterns: a pilot study for therapeutic development. 22.08.2018