Dr. Jari Ylinen of Finland has published several studies using Thera-Band resistance bands for chronic neck pain, including articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Females with chronic neck pain have shown significant decreases in pain and significant increases in neck strength up to 2 years after his program. The exercises include dynamic-isometric cervical flexion, extension, and sidebending against black Thera-Band resistance bands. Patients also perform upper body dumbbell exercises. The program is initially performed for 12 days in a rehabilitation clinic, then at home for one year. Download the Thera-Band Chronic Neck Pain exercise protocol here.
In his most recent publication documenting the outcomes of his program, Dr. Ylinen and his colleagues investigated the effects of high-intensity Thera-Band resistance exercises on health-related quality of life in patients with chronic neck pain after one year of exercise. 180 female office workers with neck pain were randomly assigned to a strengthening exercise group, endurance training group, or control group. The strength training group performed the exercise described above, while the endurance group performed a 20-repetition head-lifting task and dumbbell exercises. Both groups also performed squats, back extension, sit-ups, and stretching.
After one year, both the Thera-Band exercise and endurance exercise groups significantly increased in health-related quality of life, while the control did not. While the effects were moderate, the Thera-Band group improved in twice as many quality-of-life dimensions as the endurance group. This study provides further evidence of the effectiveness of Dr. Ylinen’s protocol using Thera-Band resistance bands in females with chronic neck pain.
REFERENCE: Salo PK, Häkkinen AH, Kautiainen H, Ylinen JJ. Effect of neck strength training on health-related quality of life in females with chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled 1-year follow-up study. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2010 May 14;8:48.