METHODS: This was a randomized clinical trial. Working-aged employed subjects with cNP (n = 105; 37 men and 68 women; mean age, 41.5 years) were randomized into TBS, PT, and M groups. Follow-up times were 1, 6, and 12 months after the treatments. Neck pain intensity (visual analog scale), perceived disability (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), and neck spine mobility measurements were used as outcomes. Global assessment was evaluated by the subjects (scale from -1 to +10). Data were analyzed using time (pre and post) by group (TBS, PT and M), 2- way analysis of variance for repeated measures.
RESULTS: Neck pain decreased and NDI scores improved in all groups 1 month after the treatment (P < .001). The improvement of NDI and persons' satisfaction were significantly better after TBS. Neck spine mobility in rotation movements tended to improve significantly better and the frons-knee distance improved more after TBS. One year later, both NDI and neck pain were significantly better after TBS than in reference groups. A significant improvement was reported by 40% to 45.5% of subjects in the PT and M groups and by 68.6% in the TBS group. Bone setters' ability to communicate and to interact with patients was evaluated significantly higher. In the TBS group, the number of sick days was minimal as was the use of painkillers during 1-year follow-up compared to that in the reference groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Traditional bone setting, which is a soft manual mobilization technique focusing on the muscles, joints, and ligaments, appears to be effective in cNP. Two thirds of subjects experienced it as beneficial, and it seems to be able to improve disability and pain in patients with cNP. Subjective and partially objective benefits of TBS were found in those patients more than after other interventions, and the effects lasted at least for 1 year.
Click on the above link for the PubMed record for this article; full text by subscription. This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.