One- and two-year follow-up of a randomized trial of neck-specific exercise with or without a behavioural approach compared with prescription of physical activity in chronic whiplash disorder.

The objective of this article was to explore whether neck-specific exercise, with or without a behavioural approach, has benefits after 1 and 2 years compared with prescribed physical activity regarding pain, self-rated functioning/disability, and self-efficacy in management of chronic whiplash. A total of 216 volunteers with chronic whiplash-associated disorders, grades 2 or 3. Participants were randomized to 1 of 3 exercise interventions: neck-specific exercise with or without a behavioural approach, or physical activity prescription. Self-rated pain (visual analogue scale), disability/functioning (Neck Disability Index/Patient Specific Functional Scale) and self-efficacy (Self-Efficacy Scale) were evaluated after 1 and 2 years. Both neck-specific exercise groups maintained more improvement regarding disability/functioning than the prescribed physical < 0.001), but at 2 years the difference was not significant.

After 1-2 years, participants with chronic whiplash who were randomized to neck-specific exercise, with or without a behavioural approach, remained more improved than participants who were prescribed general physical activity.

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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