A new study has found that chronic pain causes brain anatomy changes and impairments, however, yoga prevents and reverses the effects of chronic pain on the brain.
The study conducted by National Institutes of Health explained that chronic pain patients go through anxiety, depression, deficits cognitive functions and reduced gray matter volume and white matter integrity in the brain, but yoga and meditation, can counteract the brain anatomy affects of chronic pain.
M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, scientific director mentioned that yoga practitioners have more gray matter than controls in multiple brain regions, including those involved in pain modulation as gray matter increases in yogis correspond to duration of yoga practice.
Bushnell added that assessing the impact of brain anatomy on pain reduction, gray matter changes in the internal structures of the cerebral cortex are most significant for pain tolerance.
The study concluded that people with chronic pain can go for mind-body practices that can exert a protective effect on brain gray matter that counteracts the neuroanatomical effects of chronic pain.