Effectiveness of specific neck stabilization exercises or a general neck exercise program for chronic neck disorders: a randomized controlled trial

Cathrin Griffiths, Krysia Dziedzic, Jackie Waterfield, Julius Sim
Journal of Rheumatology 2009, 36 (2): 390-7

OBJECTIVE: In a cohort of primary care patients with chronic neck pain, to determine whether specific neck stabilization exercises, in addition to general neck advice and exercise, provide better clinical outcome at 6 weeks than general neck advice and exercise alone.

METHODS: This was a multicenter randomized controlled trial in 4 physical therapy departments. Seventy-four participants (mean age 51.3 yrs) were randomized to specific neck stabilization exercises with a general neck advice and exercise program (n = 37) or a general neck advice and exercise program alone (n = 37). They attended a 1-hour clinical examination, followed by a maximum of 4 treatment sessions. Assessments were undertaken at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6 months. The primary outcome was the Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPDS). Analysis was by intention to treat.

RESULTS: Seventy-one (96%) participants received their allocated intervention. There was 91% followup at 6 weeks and 92% followup at 6 months. The mean (SD) 6-week improvement (reduction) in NPDS score was 10.6 (20.2) for the specific exercise program and 9.3 (15.7) for the general exercise program. There were no significant between-group differences in the NPDS at either 6 weeks or 6 months. For secondary outcomes, participants in the specific exercise group were less likely to be taking pain medication at 6-week followup (p = 0.02). There were no other significant between-group differences.

CONCLUSION: Adding specific neck stabilization exercises to a general neck advice and exercise program did not provide better clinical outcome overall in the physical therapy treatment of chronic neck pain.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"