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Stress Management Program Reduces Neck Pain Intensity & Disability

06 Apr

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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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award