Effects of neck coordination exercise on sensorimotor function in chronic neck pain: A randomized controlled trial
Thomas Rudolfsson, Mats Djupsjöbacka, Charlotte Häger, Martin Björklund
Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
Objective: To evaluate the effect of neck coordination exercise on sensorimotor function in women with neck pain compared with best-available treatment and sham treatment.
Design: Observer-blinded randomized controlled trial with short-term and 6-month follow-ups.
Subjects: Women with chronic non-specific neck pain were randomized to 3 groups: neck coordination exercise with a novel training device; strength training for the neck and shoulders; or massage. Each group had 36 participants.
Methods: The intervention period was 11 weeks with 22 individually supervised sessions. Primary outcomes were postural sway measures and precision of goal-directed arm movements. Secondary outcomes were range of motion for the neck, peak speed of axial rotation, and neck pain. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted separately on the primary outcomes for the short-term and 6-month evaluations and on the sensorimotor secondary outcomes for the 6-month effect. The 6-month effect on pain was analysed with a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Results: No significant treatment effects in favour of neck coordination exercise were found for short-term or 6-month evaluations.
Conclusion: Neck coordination exercise is no better than strength training and massage in improving sensorimotor function. Further research should investigate the use of cut-offs for sensorimotor dysfunctions prior to proprioceptive or coordinative training.
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