A comparison of three types of neck support in fibromyalgia patients

N Ambrogio, J Cuttiford, S Lineker, L Li
Arthritis Care and Research: the Official Journal of the Arthritis Health Professions Association 1998, 11 (5): 405-10

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of 3 types of neck support for patients with fibromyalgia (FMS) and their preference for the type of support.

METHODS: Thirty-five patients with FMS chose the order of application and used each type of neck support for a 2-week period, followed by a 2-week washout. The same schedule was repeated a second time. The neck supports included a Shape of Sleep pillow, two neck ruffs with one standard pillow, and a single standard pillow. All subjects received a physiotherapy treatment and educational program in the home. Outcome measures included visual analog scales (VAS) for neck pain and quality of sleep, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and a neck and shoulder pain distribution diagram.

RESULTS: Analysis using Friedman's 2-way analysis of variance revealed no significant differences in any outcome measure, although there was a trend towards improvement in the FIQ and VAS neck pain and quality of sleep scores for some patients. Most participants (62.9%) preferred the Shape of Sleep pillow, 20.0% preferred cervical ruffs with one standard pillow, and 17.1% preferred a single standard pillow.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are inconclusive due to the small sample size. However, from a patient's perspective, neck support is an important part of a comprehensive physiotherapy program. Most participants preferred the more rigid support of a Shape of Sleep pillow. Further research into the efficacy of the use of neck support in people with FMS is warranted.


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