Training mode-dependent changes in motor performance in neck pain

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jul;93(7):1225-33. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.02.018. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


Objective: To determine whether changes in motor performance after a course of exercise in patients with mechanical neck pain (MNP) were dependent on the primary behavioral demand of the exercise performed.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: University laboratory.

Participants: Volunteers (N=60; 35 women, 25 men; mean age, 37.9y) with chronic MNP participated in the study.

Intervention: Exercise targeted to improve cervical motor performance including endurance training (ETr; n=20), coordination training (CTr; n=20), and active mobility training (n=20).

Main outcome measures: Changes in the cervical motor performance domains of strength, endurance, coordination, and active mobility were evaluated immediately after the 10-week training program, and at a 26-week follow-up.

Results: Between-group comparisons revealed significantly greater gains in endurance (P<.02) by the ETr group, and significantly greater gains in coordination (P<.01) by the CTr group. All 3 groups had improvement in pain (P<.01) and disability (P<.01).

Conclusions: Changes in motor performance in individuals with MNP in response to an exercise program were dependent on the specific mode of exercise performed, with minimal improvement in other domains of motor performance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chronic Pain / diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Neck Muscles / physiology
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult