METHODS: The study was a prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Forty-one patients with chronic cervical pain were randomly assigned to either a control group or a chiropractic treatment group. All patients were clinically examined, given general information on cervical pain, and provided with training instructions based on the clinical evaluation. The treatment included sessions with high-velocity and low-amplitude manipulation, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, ischemic compression of myofascial trigger points, and spinal rehabilitation exercises aiming to normalize cervical range of motion (CROM) and HRA. Subjective pain intensity, cervical kinesthetic sensibility, and CROM were recorded before and after the study period.
RESULTS: There was no difference between the treatment patients and the control subjects at the beginning with regard to age, sex, subjective pain intensity, range of motion, and HRA. At the 5-week follow-up, the treatment patients showed significant reductions in pain and improvement of all HRA aspects measured whereas the control subjects did not show any reduction in pain and improvement in only one HRA aspect. No significant difference was detected in CROM.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that chiropractic care can be effective in influencing the complex process of proprioceptive sensibility and pain of cervical origin. Short, specific chiropractic treatment programs with proper patient information may alter the course of chronic cervical pain.
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