Effectiveness of global postural re-education in patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain: Randomized controlled trial

Paolo Pillastrini, Fernanda de Lima e Sá Resende, Federico Banchelli, Anna Burioli, Emanuele di Ciaccio, Andrew A. Guccione, Jorge Hugo Villafañe, Carla Vanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Global postural re-education (GPR) has shown positive results for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, but no previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) has investigated its effectiveness as the sole procedure for adult patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain (NP). Objective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of applying GPR compared with a manual therapy (MT) intervention to patients with chronic nonspecific NP. Design. An RCT was conducted. Patients. Ninety-four patients with chronic nonspecific NP (72 women and 22 men; average age=47.5 years, SD=11.3) were randomly assigned to receive either a GPR intervention or an MT intervention. Outcome Measures. Pain intensity (visual analog scale), disability (Neck Disability Index), cervical range of motion, and kinesiophobia (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia) were assessed. Methods. The experimental group received GPR, and the reference group received MT. Both groups received nine 60-minute-long sessions with one-to-one supervision from physical therapists as the care providers. All participants were asked to follow ergonomic advice and to perform home exercises. Measures were assessed before treatment, following treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. Results. No important baseline differences were found between groups. The experimental group exhibited a statistically significant reduction in pain following treatment and in disability 6 months after the intervention compared with the reference group. Limitations. Randomization did not lead to completely homogeneous groups. It also was noted that the time spent integrating the movements practiced during the session into daily routines at the end of each session was requested only of participants in the GPR group and may have had an impact on patient adherence that contributed to a better outcome. Conclusions. The results suggest that GPR was more effective than MT for reducing pain after treatment and for reducing disability at 6-month follow-up in patients with chronic nonspecific NP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1408-1416
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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