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  • 1.
    Björklund, Martin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Effects of tailored neck-shoulder pain treatment based on a decision model guided by clinical assessments and standardized functional tests: a study protocol of a randomized controlled trial2012In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 13, article id 75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: A major problem with rehabilitation interventions for neck pain is that the condition may have multiple causes, thus a single treatment approach is seldom efficient. The present study protocol outlines a single blinded randomised controlled trial evaluating the effect of tailored treatment for neck-shoulder pain. The treatment is based on a decision model guided by standardized clinical assessment and functional tests with cut-off values. Our main hypothesis is that the tailored treatment has better short, intermediate and long-term effects than either non-tailored treatment or treatment-as-usual (TAU) on pain and function. We sub-sequentially hypothesize that tailored and non-tailored treatment both have better effect than TAU.

    METHODS: 120 working women with minimum six weeks of nonspecific neck-shoulder pain aged 20-65, are allocated by minimisation with the factors age, duration of pain, pain intensity and disability in to the groups tailored treatment (T), non-tailored treatment (NT) or treatment-as-usual (TAU). Treatment is given to the groups T and NT for 11 weeks (27 sessions evenly distributed). An extensive presentation of the tests and treatment decision model is provided. The main treatment components are manual therapy, cranio-cervical flexion exercise and strength training, EMG-biofeedback training, treatment for cervicogenic headache, neck motor control training. A decision algorithm based on the baseline assessment determines the treatment components given to the each participant of T- and NT-groups. Primary outcome measures are physical functioning (Neck Disability Index) and average pain intensity last week (Numeric Rating Scale). Secondary outcomes are general improvement (Patient Global Impression of Change scale), symptoms (Profile Fitness Mapping neck questionnaire), capacity to work in the last 6 weeks (quality and quantity) and pressure pain threshold of m. trapezius. Primary and secondary outcomes will be reported for each group with effect size and its precision.

    DISCUSSION: We have chosen not to include women with psychological ill-health and focus on biomedical aspects of neck pain. Future studies should aim at including psychosocial aspects in a widened treatment decision model. No important adverse events or side-effects are expected.

    Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials registration ISRCTN49348025.

  • 2.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Umeå, Sweden.
    Björklund, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Umeå, Sweden.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Umeå, Sweden.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    Direction-Specific Impairments in Cervical Range of Motion in Women with Chronic Neck Pain: Influence of Head Posture and Gravitationally Induced Torque2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 1, article id e0170274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Cervical range of motion (ROM) is commonly assessed in clinical practice and research. In a previous study we decomposed active cervical sagittal ROM into contributions from lower and upper levels of the cervical spine and found level- and direction-specific impairments in women with chronic non-specific neck pain. The present study aimed to validate these results and investigate if the specific impairments can be explained by the neutral posture (defining zero flexion/extension) or a movement strategy to avoid large gravitationally induced torques on the cervical spine.

    Methods Kinematics of the head and thorax was assessed in sitting during maximal sagittal cervical flexion/extension (high torque condition) and maximal protraction (low torque condition) in 120 women with chronic non-specific neck pain and 40 controls. We derived the lower and upper cervical angles, and the head centre of mass (HCM), from a 3-segment kinematic model. Neutral head posture was assessed using a standardized procedure. 

    Findings Previous findings of level- and direction-specific impairments in neck pain were confirmed. Neutral head posture was equal between groups and did not explain the direction-specific impairments. The relative magnitude of group difference in HCM migration did not differ between high and low torques conditions, lending no support for our hypothesis that impairments in sagittal ROM are due to torque avoidance behaviour. 

    Interpretation The direction-and level-specific impairments in cervical sagittal ROM can be generalised to the population of women with non-specific neck pain. Further research is necessary to clarify if torque avoidance behaviour can explain the impairments.

  • 3.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Neck pain in women: effect of tailored treatment and impact of work environment2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Musculoskeletal pain is a common problem in the working population. In Sweden, 40% of women and 30% of men report suffering from neck and shoulder pain weekly. The underlying cause for neck pain is often not known and the treatment is commonly guided by the individual’s symptoms. However, there is a lack of knowledge on how to receive the best effect based on the individual’s symptoms and functional limitations, and therefore this has been scarcely evaluated in research. Furthermore, the impact of work exposure and stress on long-term treatment for persons with neck pain is not clear.

    Aims: To develop (paper 1) and to evaluate a decision model for tailored treatment in women with neck pain (paper 2). Moreover, to determine if risk factors at work and stress influence intermediate and long-term treatment results (paper 3). Further, to investigate if changes in self-reported pain and disabilities are associated with changes of physical test outcomes of the neck and shoulder region after treatment (paper 4).

    Methods: In an RCT, 120 working women with non-specific neck pain were randomized to three different groups – tailored treatment (TT), non-tailored treatment (NTT) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) for an 11 weeks intervention with short-term, intermediate-term and long-term follow-ups. The TT group was guided by a decision model with cut-off levels to indicate impairments. The NTT group received two established treatment components randomly from those not indicated, and TAU group did not receive any treatment within the study. The RCT primary outcomes were self-reported neck pain and neck disability. A linear mixed model was used for analysing the effects. One week after the end of intervention work exposure and stress were assessed at a work-place visit and associations to treatment results were tested for, and mixed models were used to estimate longitudinal associations. Associations between self-reported neck problems and physical outcomes were estimated with univariate and multiple regressions analysis.

    Results: No differences between TT and NTT were revealed for neck pain and disability. In comparison to TAU, the TT and NTT groups both showed improvements at short-term follow-up, but not at intermediate and long-term follow-up. High stress level and low self-estimated control at work were associated with more pain and disability at the intermediate and long-term follow-ups. After intervention and at the intermediate-term follow-up, reduced neck pain, disability and frequency of symptoms were associated with increased peak speed of head rotation and cervical range of motion.

    Conclusion: Tailored treatment according to the decision model was not superior to the non-tailored treatment in women with non-specific neck pain. One explanation for this can be the weak relationships found between neck pain and disability and physical test outcomes. Further, perceived stress and psychosocial work exposure were associated with self-reported neck problems and should be taken into account to optimize the effects in neck pain rehabilitation.

  • 4.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Björklund, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University Of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Häger, Charlotte K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Nilsson Sommar, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Impact of workplace exposure and stress on neck pain and disabilities in women: a longitudinal follow-up after a rehabilitation intervention2018In: Annals of Work exposure and Health, ISSN 2398-7308, Vol. 62, no 5, p. 591-603Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: The aim was to evaluate if pain, disability, and work productivity are influenced by physical and psychosocial work exposures as well as by stress, up to 1 year after a randomized controlled trial treatment intervention, and to determine whether any such association differed between treatment and control groups.

    Methods: Ninety-seven working women suffering non-specific neck pain (n = 67 treatment group, n = 30 control group) were followed from end of treatment intervention and at 9- and 15-month follow-ups, respectively. Physical and psychosocial exposures, as well as perceived stress, were assessed after the treatment intervention. Pain, neck disability, and work productivity were assessed at baseline, after intervention 3 months later and at 9- and 15-month follow-ups. Longitudinal assessment was conducted using the exposure level at 3 months as predictor of pain, disability, and work productivity at 3, 9, and 15 months, respectively. Mixed models were used to estimate longitudinal associations, accounting for within-individual correlation of repeated outcome measures by incorporation of a random intercept. Age and duration of neck pain were adjusted for in all models. To evaluate group differences, interactions between exposures and treatment groups were estimated.

    Results: High perceived stress was associated with more neck pain, more neck disability, and decreased work productivity in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. High ‘control of decision’ was associated with less neck pain, less neck disability, and higher work productivity in cross-sectional analyses but only to less disability and higher productivity in longitudinal analyses. Shoulder/arm load was the only physical exposure variable that was significantly associated with work productivity in the univariate analyses. Only small differences were observed between treatment and control groups.

    Conclusion: High perceived stress and low ‘control of decision’ were associated with more neck pain, increased neck disability, and decreased work productivity. Treatment interventions for individuals with neck pain should take into account psychosocial workplace exposures and stress to improve intermediate and long-term results.

  • 5.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Jull, Gwendolen
    Björklund, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Is tailored treatment superior to non-tailored treatment for pain and disability in women with non-specific neck pain?: A randomized controlled trial2016In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 17, article id 408Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The evidence for the effect of treatments of neck pain is modest. In the absence of causal treatments, a possibility is to tailor the treatment to the individuals' functional limitations and symptoms. The aim was to evaluate treatment effects of a tailored treatment versus a non-tailored treatment. Our hypothesis was that tailored treatment (TT) would have better effect on pain intensity and disability than either non-tailored treatment (NTT) (same treatment components but applied quasi-randomly) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) (no treatment from the study, no restrictions). We further hypothesized that TT and NTT would both have better effect than TAU.

    METHOD: One hundred twenty working women with subacute and chronic non-specific neck pain were allocated to 11 weeks of either TT, NTT or TAU in a randomized controlled trial with follow-ups at 3, 9 and 15 months. The TT was designed from a decision model based on assessment of function and symptoms with defined cut-off levels for the following categories: reduced cervical mobility, impaired neck-shoulder strength and motor control, impaired eye-head-neck control, trapezius myalgia and cervicogenic headache. Primary outcomes were pain and disability. Secondary outcomes were symptoms, general improvement, work productivity, and pressure pain threshold of m. trapezius.

    RESULTS: Linear mixed models analysis showed no differences between TT and NTT besides work productivity favoring TT at 9- and 15-months follow-ups. TT and NTT improved significantly more than TAU on pain, disability and symptoms at 3-month follow-up. General improvement also favored TT and NTT over TAU at all follow-ups.

    CONCLUSION: Tailored treatment according to our proposed decision model was not more effective than non-tailored treatment in women with subacute and chronic neck pain. Both tailored and non-tailored treatments had better short-term effects than treatment-as-usual, supporting active and specific exercise therapy, although therapist-patient interaction was not controlled for. Better understanding of the importance of functional impairments for pain and disability, in combination with a more precise tailoring of specific treatment components, is needed to progress.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN 49348025. Registered 2 August 2011.

  • 6.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Björklund, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Associations between self-rated and physical test outcomes before and after intervention in women with non-specific neck pain: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    Non-specific neck pain is common, especially in women. There is often a multifaceted symptom picture while the etiology remains unclear. Consequently, a wide arsenal of treatments exists. While the underlying mechanisms of pain relief are complex, the relationship between individual improvement on physical function and the neck patient’s self-rated status is also obscure. The present aim was to determine the associations between physical test outcomes involving the neck and shoulder region, and self-reported neck problems before and after (Change-scores) a treatment intervention in women with non-specific neck pain.

    Methods: Data were obtained for 120 women (aged 47±11 years) with non-specific neck pain who had participated in a previous randomized controlled trial involving physiotherapy treatment. Data were used from all participants at baseline prior to treatment for cross-sectional analysis, and for longitudinal analysis for 69 women at baseline, at the end of treatment after 3 months, and at 9-month follow-up (Change-scores). Associations between self-reported neck problems (pain, disability, symptoms) and physical test outcomes (neck-strength, flexibility, motor control) were estimated with cross-sectional (baseline) and longitudinal (Change-scores) linear regression analyses.

    Results: Neck pain was only significantly associated to the physical outcome measure Peak-Speed of cervical rotation, i.e., increased pain related to lower speed. This was true at baseline and for Change-scores at 9 months. Increased neck disability and frequency of symptoms were associated to lower neck strength and Peak-Speed at baseline, and to reduced Peak-Speed and cervical Axial-Range of Motion (A-ROM) at 3 and 9 months, respectively. Peak-Speed and A-ROM were thus the physical test outcomes with associations to changes in neck problems. At the 9-month follow-up, 26% of the variance of frequency of symptom changes was explained by changes in A-ROM and Peak-Speed, which were also inter-correlated (r=0.55).

    Conclusion: If changes in physical functioning, tested as cervical mobility and strength, have only a modest relation to the course of self-rated condition in neck disorders, then the specificity and usefulness of various assessments for decision-making, treatment and evaluation might be questioned. This also calls for reconsideration regarding acting mechanisms behind the apparent effect of, e.g., strength training on neck pain disorders.

  • 7.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Sandsjö, Leif
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Björklund, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Progressive individualized EMG biofeedback training for women with work related neck-shoulder pain – a feasibility study2012Conference paper (Refereed)
1 - 7 of 7
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