Stress Management Program Reduces Neck Pain Intensity & Disability

Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece examined the effect of a simple, zero cost stress management program on patients suffering from neck pain. Studies have shown that stress is implicated as a cause of neck pain (NP).

This study is a parallel-type randomized clinical study. People with chronic non-specific neck pain were chosen randomly to participate in an eight-week program of stress management (N= 28) that included diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation; or a no intervention control condition (N= 25).

Self-report measures were used to evaluate variables at the beginning and end of the eight-week monitoring period. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used for the analysis.

At the end of the monitoring period, the intervention group showed a statistically significant reduction of stress and anxiety (p= 0.03, p= 0.01) in their self report of stress related symptoms (p= 0.003), and described a lower percentage of disability due to NP (p= 0.000) and lower NP intensity (p= 0.002).

At the same time, daily routine satisfaction levels were elevated (p= 0.019). No statistically significant difference was found in cortisol measurements.

From this evaluation, the investigators conclude that a simple, 8 week stress management program has positive effects on Neck Pain patients.

Citation: Metikaridis TD, Hadjipavlou A, et al. Effect of a stress management program on subjects with neck pain: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. 2016 May 20.

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