Time-wise change in neck pain in response to rehabilitation with specific resistance training
In a recent study of 200 women with neck pain that averaged 5.5/10 found that significant pain reduction occurred over the first four weeks with continued significant improvement over the first seven weeks and with gradual continued improvement occurring all the way out to fifteen weeks. The study group received specific resistance training for the neck/shoulder muscles three times a week, and the control group received advice to stay active.
Based upon the results, four weeks of specific resistance training reduced neck pain significantly, but 15 weeks is required to achieve maximal pain reduction. The time-wise change in pain followed a three-phase pattern with a rapid effect during the initial 7 weeks followed by a slower but still positive effect, and finally a plateau from week 15 and onwards.
Real world application of this research appears to call for a supervised exercise program that is self paced with periodic oversight over the first four weeks of care resulting in progression of activities and with a follow up at seven weeks where concepts and continued progressions of the exercise are explained and provided for the following eight weeks of patient self guided exercise.