The effects of osteopathic treatment on non-specific chronic neck pain and disability
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2339
Background: Neck pain is common among the general population and can be disabling and costly. Aim: The aim of this quasi-randomised controlled trial was to investigate whether osteopathic treatment would reduce perceived disability and pain in people with chronic neck pain. Methods: Twenty-one participants (mean age 52.1 ± 10.8 years; 6 males, 15 females) with chronic, non-specific neck pain (median duration of symptoms of 313 weeks [range = 17-1565]) were recruited and enrolled in this study. Participants were randomised either to begin immediately or after 3 weeks, a 3-week course of osteopathic. Results: An ANOVA model revealed greater improvements after 3 weeks in Neck Disability Index (NDI) (P = 0.03) for the Immediate-Start group (from 23 ± 12 to 17 ± 11 points) compared to a negligible change for those who had a delayed start (25 ± 10 to 26 ± 10 points). Analysed as a single cohort, improvements over time were observed for all outcome measures (P values all <0.01). Post hoc analyses showed a mean reduction of 9 percentage points (95% CI: 5 – 13) for NDI, 2 points reduction (95% CI: 1 – 3) for PSFS, and 9-point reduction (95% CI: 3 – 14) for MPQ from before to immediately following the last treatment session as well as similar reductions from before treatment to the 6-week follow-up measure (at P < 0.05 level). A similar analysis for pain intensity (VAS) showed changes from pre-intervention 3.3 ± 2 cm to all follow-up treatment measurements, the final measurement at 6-weeks being 1.5 ± 1.5 cm. Conclusion: Self-reported pain and disability were reduced following a course of osteopathic treatment. This quasi-randomised controlled trial suggests that osteopathic treatment may be effective for the management of chronic neck pain.