Listed in Issue 134


GUSTAVSSONand VON KOCH, Centre for Clinical Research Dalarna, Falun, Sweden, have used applied relaxation in the treatment of long-standing neck pain.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of study design and method for assessing effects of interventions on patients with long-lasting neck pain. It was also to compare treatment effects of: (i) a pain and stress management group intervention with applied relaxation, and (ii) individual physiotherapy treatment as usual.


In this randomized controlled pilot study, 29 patients with long-lasting neck pain were randomly assigned either to applied relaxation or treatment as usual. The applied relaxation group received 7 group sessions over a period of 7 weeks and the treatment as usual group an average of 11 individual sessions spread over 20 weeks following baseline. Participants filled in a self-assessment questionnaire before treatment, and 7 and 20 weeks after baseline. The questionnaire comprised: Neck Disability Index, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, and questions regarding neck pain, analgesic use, sleep, sick-leave and utilization of healthcare.


The applied relaxation group had better perceived control over pain at the 20 weeks follow-up compared with the treatment as usual group.


The design and methods of this pilot study were feasible and will be suitable for a larger randomized controlled study.


Gustavsson C, von Koch L. Applied relaxation in the treatment of long-lasting neck pain: a randomized controlled pilot study.  Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 38 (2): 100-107, Mar 2006.

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