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Which is more effective for treating chronic neck pain: strength training and stretching or stretching only? According to a randomized follow-up study of 121 patients, neither one is better than the other.
During the 12-month study, one group used a home-based strength training and stretching program, and the other group used a home-based stretching only program. When researchers compared the effectiveness of the two programs, they found significant improvements in disability in both groups, and only marginal differences in neck pain and disability between the groups.
The researchers concluded that the programs were equally effective in achieving long-term improvement. Using either home-based program is an effective, low-cost approach to managing chronic neck pain.
Source: Hakkinen A, et al. Strength training and stretching versus stretching only in the treatment of patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized one-year follow-up study. Clinical Rehabilitation. 22(7):592-600, July 2008.
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