This study’s purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a low-load training program for the deep cervical flexors (DCFs) on pain, disability, and pressure pain threshold (PPT) over cervical myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in patients with chronic neck pain. Thirty participants with chronic idiopathic neck pain participated in a 6-week program of specific training for the DCF, which was compised of active craniocervical flexion performed twice per day (10-20 minutes) for the duration of the trial. Perceived pain and disability (Neck Disability Index, 0-50) and PPT over MTrPs of the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and splenius capitis muscles were measured at the beginning and end of the training period. Following completion of training, there was a substantial reduction in Neck Disability Index values (before, 18.2 ± 12.1; after, 13.5 ± 10.6; P < .01). However, no significant changes in PPT were observed over the MTrPs.
This study showed that individuals performing DCF training for 6 weeks reductions in pain and disability but didn’t show changes in pressure pain sensitivity over MTrPs in the splenius capitis, levator scapulae, or upper trapezius muscles.