The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of therapeutic exercises and sleeping neck support contoured pillows on patients with chronic neck pain. Participants were equally allocated at random to 4 treatment groups in the study: (1) placebo control, of hot or cold packs and massage; (2) sleeping neck support pillow and placebo; (3) active neck exercises and placebo; and (4) combined exercise and sleeping neck support pillow and placebo. They were treated by physical therapists over a 6 week period and assessed by masked independent assessors at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24 weeks, and 12 months, with the 12 week assessment being the primary decision time. The authors concluded that treatment by physiotherapists trained to teach both exercises and the use of a neck support pillow achieved the most favorable benefit for participants with chronic neck pain; either strategy alone was not more effective than a control regimen. Time was an important cofactor.
Journal of Rheumatology 2007;34:151â€“8