Neck muscle training in the treatment of chronic neck pain: a three-year follow-up study.

Ylinen J, Häkkinen A, Nykänen M, Kautiainen H, Takala EP

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the positive results achieved with a one-year training regimen in patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain would have long-standing effects. One-hundred and eighteen women included were those who had performed neck strength and endurance exercises in a previous randomised controlled trial. At the 3-year follow-up, neck pain and the disability indices showed no statistically discernible change compared to the situation at the 12-month follow-up. Also, gains in neck strength, ROM and PPT achieved during the training year were largely maintained. The authors conclude that the improvements achieved through long-term training were maintained at the 3-year follow-up. Since a 12-month exercise programme shows a long-term effect, exercise may not need to be performed regularly for the remainder of the subject's life.

Europa Medicophysica, 2007, 43(2), 161-9

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