Influence of the actions observed on cervical motion in patients with chronic neck pain: a pilot study

J Exerc Rehabil. 2016 Aug 31;12(4):346-54. doi: 10.12965/jer.1632636.318. eCollection 2016 Aug.


The aim of the present pilot study was to prove if the action-observation (AOb) improved the cervical range of motion (CROM) in patients with nonspecific chronic neck pain (CNP). Double blind pilot study. A total of 28 subjects were randomly assigned to an effective-movement group (n=14) and an ineffective-movement group (n=14). The follow-up consisted of: pretreatment, posttreatment and 10 min after second measurement (motor imagery). Outcome measures were CROM, and pres-sure pain detection thresholds (PPDTs). No statistical differences were found in baseline on CROM and on the PPDT. Test for independent groups revealed significant changes in cervical rotation movement. Both groups in posttreatment (P=0.042; Cohen d=0.81) and after 10 min (P=0.019; Cohen d=0.9). For intragroup PPDT, the Wilcoxon test revealed significant effects in the effective movement at C2 of the pre to 10-min post (P=0.040). However, the ineffective movement revealed a significant reduction in PPDT in zygapophyseal joint of C5-C6 as the pre to post (P=0.010) as the pre to 10-min post (P=0.041) periods. In conclusions this pilot study demonstrated that the effective AOb produced significant changes versus ineffective AOb in the CROM and it could influences in PPT in subject with CNP immediately.

Keywords: Chronic neck pain; Mirror neuron; Observed action.