Content » Vol 50, Issue 8

Original report

Resistance training vs general physical exercise in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of chronic neck pain: A randomized controlled trial

Vegard Moe Iversen, Ottar Vasseljen, Paul Jarle Mork, Marius Steiro Fimland
Department of Public Health and Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7030 Trondheim, Norway. E-mail: vegard.m.iversen@ntnu.no

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2370

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether progressive resistance training using elastic resistance bands improves neck-related disability more than general physical exercise in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of chronic neck pain.
Design: Researcher-blinded, randomized controlled trial.
Methods: A total of 59 patients with non-specific,
chronic neck pain (mean age 46 years, disability (Neck Disability Index 0–100): 35.4, worst neck pain last 2 weeks (numerical pain rating scale 0–10): 6.3) were randomized to 3-week multidisciplinary rehabilitation including either general physical exercise or progressive resistance training with elastic bands. Participants were instructed to continue their respective home-based training programmes for 9 additional weeks. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, after 3 weeks and after 12 weeks. Primary outcome was the between-group difference in change in the Neck Disability Index from baseline to 12 weeks.
Results: Thirty-four and 31 participants were followed up at 3 and 12 weeks, respectively. No between-group differences were observed, apart from a greater increase in shoulder abduction strength for the progressive resistance-training group at 12 weeks.
Conclusion: This study provides no evidence in favour of replacing general physical exercise with progressive resistance training using elastic resistance bands in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of chronic neck pain. We recommend clinicians to advise either of these exercise-types, based on the patient’s interests and motivation.

Lay Abstract

Here, we investigated if progressive resistance training improved neck-related disability more than general physical exercise in multidisciplinary rehabilitation. To this end, patients with non-specific chronic neck pain referred to a three-week multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme, were randomly allocated to either general physical exercise or progressive resistance training using elastic bands. Afterwards, they were asked to continue with their respective exercise-program for 9 more weeks. Of the 59 who took part in the study, 31 were followed up at 12 weeks. Our main finding was that the improvement in neck-related disability were quite similar for the two groups. We therefore recommend clinicians to prescribe either of these exercise-types based on the patient`s interests and motivation.

Supplementary content

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