Manual Therapy, Therapeutic Patient Education, and Therapeutic Exercise, an Effective Multimodal Treatment of Nonspecific Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a multimodal treatment in the short and medium term for disability in nonspecific chronic neck pain. The design of this study is a single-blinded randomized controlled trial carried out in a university research laboratory. Forty-five patients between 18 and 65 yrs with nonspecific chronic neck pain were included in this study. Each patient was treated eight times over a 4-wk period. The sample was divided into three groups: control group, subjected to a protocol of manual therapy; experimental group 1, subjected to a protocol of manual therapy and therapeutic patient education; and experimental group 2, subjected to manual therapy, therapeutic patient education, and a therapeutic exercise protocol. Assessments were performed at baseline and at 4, 8, and 16 wks using the following measurements: the Neck Disability Index, the 11-item Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, the Neck Flexor Muscle Endurance Test, and the Visual Analog Fatigue Scale. The nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test for the Neck Disability Index showed statistically significant differences between baseline outcomes and all follow-up periods (P < 0.01). In the Kruskal-Wallis test, differences were found for the Visual Analog Fatigue Scale and the Neck Flexor Muscle Endurance Test in the follow-ups at 8 and 16 wks (P < 0.05). Analysis of variance for group × time interaction showed statistically significant changes (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, F = 3.613, P = 0.005; Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, F = 2.803, P = 0.022). Minimal detectable changes were obtained in both experimental groups for the 11-item Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia but not in the control group.

Differences between experimental groups and the control group were found in the short and medium term. A multimodal treatment is a good method for reducing disability in patients with nonspecific chronic neck pain in the short and medium term.

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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