Resistance training vs general physical exercise in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled trial
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2018, 50 (8), 743-750. 10.2340/16501977-2370
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.