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Long-term effects of therapeutic exercise on nonspecific chronic neck pain: a literature review

updated

Tags: treatment, strength, exercise, neck, self-treatment, head/neck, spine

One article on PainSci cites Cheng 2015: The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks

PainSci notes on Cheng 2015:

“The studies reviewed in this study were medium- or high-quality RCTs with high evidence reliability. The reviewed results show that short-term neck exercise training yields immediate therapeutic relief for patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain. However, their effectiveness was not sustained for long. When the patients developed long-term exercise habits at home, the body structure and function of the patients improved with concomitant long-term benefits. More high-level evidence is needed to verify the efficacy of long-term exercise interventions on patients’ activity and social participation.”

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

PURPOSE: Nonspecific neck pain is a common musculoskeletal disease. Therapeutic exercise has been shown to improve pain and disability in short-term and midterm follow-ups. This study performed a literature review of the long-term effects of therapeutic exercise on subjects with nonspecific chronic neck pain. SUBJECTS AND

METHODS: The databases of the CINAHL, MEDLINE, PEDro and PubMed were used. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) published from January 2000 to January 2014 and explicitly including a one-year follow-up were identified.

RESULTS: Only six articles were included in this review. They had scores of 5 to 8 points on the PEDro scale, and the level of evidence was grade I. The study results show that the main exercises used were cervical strengthening and endurance training exercise. Short-term exercises (10 to 12 weeks) helped to improve the body function, structure, activity and participation immediately after the intervention, but not at the long-term follow-up. On the other hand, long-term interventions (1 year) resulted in improvements in body function and structure at the 3 year follow-up.

CONCLUSION: The results of the six high-quality studies suggest that long-term exercise have long-term benefits for patients with nonspecific neck pain in terms of body function and structure.

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