Neck pain is an area consistently under treated by clinicians. There are countless passive temporary remedies for neck pain including massage, manipulation, and dry needling, but only high level exercise is able to reduce the long term effects of neck pain. When patients remain under passive care for their neck pain they will experience more recurrence and long term symptoms compared to an active group. A recent randomized controlled trial examined the impact of neck (cervical) Physical Therapy strengthening exercises on patients with chronic neck pain.
Li and colleagues randomized 109 employed (computer users) women with chronic neck pain to either a fixed resistance training program, a progressive resistance training program, or a control group (Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2017). The participants in the Physical Therapy exercise groups performed cervical resistance training exercises in 4 directions over a 6 week period. The progressive group had their resistance increased as tolerated throughout this period. Both exercise groups demonstrated improved strength, mobility, disability, and pain at short and long term outcomes, but greater pain reduction was noted in the progressive resistance training group.