Global postural re-education (GPR) has shown positive results for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, but no previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) has investigated its effectiveness as the sole procedure for adult patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain (NP). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of applying GPR compared with a manual therapy (MT) intervention to patients with chronic nonspecific NP. Ninety-four patients with chronic nonspecific NP (72 women and 22 men; average age=47.5 years, SD=11.3) were randomly assigned to receive either a GPR intervention or an MT intervention. Pain intensity (visual analog scale), disability (Neck Disability Index), cervical range of motion, and kinesiophobia (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia) were assessed. The experimental group received GPR, and the reference group received MT. Both groups received nine 60-minute-long sessions with one-to-one supervision from physical therapists as the care providers. All participants were asked to follow ergonomic advice and to perform home exercises. Measures were assessed before treatment, following treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. No important baseline differences were found between groups. The experimental group exhibited a statistically significant reduction in pain following treatment and in disability 6 months after the intervention compared with the reference group.
The results suggest that GPR was more effective than MT for reducing pain after treatment and for reducing disability at 6-month follow-up in patients with chronic nonspecific NP.