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    ABSTRACT: Neck pain, common among the elderly population, has considerable implications on health and quality of life. Evidence supports the use of spinal manipulative therapy and exercise to treat neck pain; however, no studies to date have evaluated the effectiveness of these therapies specifically in seniors. To assess the relative effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and supervised rehabilitative exercise (SRE), both in combination with and compared to home exercise (HE) alone for neck pain in individuals aged 65 years or older Study Design/Setting. Randomized clinical trial PATIENT SAMPLE: Individuals 65 years of age or older with a primary complaint of mechanical neck pain, rated ≥ 3 (0-10) for 12 weeks or longer in duration. Patient self-report outcomes were collected at baseline and 4, 12, 26, and 52 weeks after randomization. The primary outcome was pain, measured by an 11- box numerical rating scale. Secondary outcomes included disability (Neck Disability Index), general health status (Medical Outcomes Study SF-36), satisfaction (7-point scale), improvement (9-point scale), and medication use (days per week). This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Linear mixed model analyses were used for comparisons at individual time points and for short- and long-term analyses. Blinded evaluations of objective outcomes were performed at baseline and 12 weeks. Adverse event data were collected at each treatment visit. 241 participants were randomized, with 95% reporting primary outcome data at all time points. After 12 weeks of treatment, the SMT with home exercise group demonstrated a 10 percentage point greater decrease in pain compared to the home exercise alone group, and 5 percentage point change over supervised plus home exercise. A decrease in pain favoring supervised plus home exercise over home exercise alone did not reach statistical significance. Compared to the home exercise alone group, both combination groups reported greater improvement at week 12 and more satisfaction at all time points. Multivariate longitudinal analysis incorporating primary and secondary patient-rated outcomes showed that the SMT with home exercise group was superior to the home exercise alone group in both the short- and long-term. No serious adverse events were observed as a result of the study treatments. SMT with home exercise resulted in greater pain reduction after 12 weeks of treatment compared to both supervised plus home exercise, and home exercise alone. Supervised exercise sessions added little benefit to the home exercise alone program.
    The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 11/2013;
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    British journal of sports medicine 06/2013;
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    EXPLORE The Journal of Science and Healing 01/2013; 9(5):277-8.

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