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Investigating the effect of stabilization exercise and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises on cross-sectional area of deep cervical flexor muscles in patients with chronic non-specific neck pain

Authors: Ghadiri Harati Parisa, Askari Ashtianiy Ahmadreza, Hosseinifar Mohammad, Akbari Asghar, Rahnama Leila and Ghiasi Fateme

Int J Med Res Health Sci.502-508 | pdf PDF Full Text

The objective of this study was to investigate and to determine the effectiveness of specific Stability Exercises (SE)on
the muscles of the neck in comparison with Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation exercises (PNFE) in the
cross-sectional area of deep cervical flexor muscles and to examine the improvement of disability and pain in
patients with chronic neck pain. This randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted on 44 patients with chronic
neck pain in 2016. The patients were randomly divided into two SE and (PNFE) groups (each containing 22
subjects). The pain of patients was assessed using VisualAnalogScale(VAS) questionnaire(VAS) and the disability
was assessed using Neck Disability Index(NDI)questionnaire, and cross-sectional area of deep cervical flexor
muscles in the right side was assessed using ultrasonography before treatment training and 8 weeks after the start of
training. Treatment program for both groups was 8 weeks (6 sessions per week and two sessions per day) with
repetition of specified trainings. Variance analysis, independent t-test, and paired t-test were used to compare
results before and after treatment between groups and within groups .The mean pain score in both SE (P<0.001)
and PNFE (P<0.001) groups was declined. Mean NDI in both SE (P<0.001) and PNFE (P<0.001) groups showed a
significant decrease. The mean cross-sectional area of deep cervical flexor muscles of patients in SE group and
PNFE group increased while the increase in PNFE group (P=0.09) was not significant but in SE group was
statistically significant (P=0.008).This study revealed that both methods of SE and PNFE in patients with chronic
neck pain reduced pain and disability, but SE had better effects. Although cross-sectional area of deep cervical
flexor muscles increased in both treatment groups, but the increase in cross-sectional area of deep flexor muscles in
SE group was significant.

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