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Article

Effects of Virtual Reality versus Exercise on Pain, Functional, Somatosensory and Psychosocial Outcomes in Patients with Non-specific Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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Escuela Internacional de Doctorado, Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, 28032 Alcorcón, Spain
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Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Madrid 28008, Spain
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Departamento de Fisioterapia, Centro Superior de Estudios Universitarios La Salle, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28043 Madrid, Spain
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CranioSpain Research Group, Centro Superior de Estudios Universitarios La Salle, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28043 Madrid, Spain
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Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine. Rey Juan Carlos University, 28922 Madrid, Spain
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Motion in Brains Research Group, Institute of Neuroscience and Sciences of the Movement (INCIMOV), Centro Superior de Estudios Universitarios La Salle, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28043 Madrid, Spain
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Facultad de Enfermería, Fisioterapia y Podología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Unit of Physiotherapy, Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research, IdiPAZ, 28029 Madrid, Spain
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Grupo Multidisciplinar de Investigación y Tratamiento del Dolor. Grupo de Excelencia Investigadora URJC-Banco de Santander, 28922 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165950
Received: 21 July 2020 / Revised: 31 July 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 16 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Exercise as a Therapeutic Resource)
Background: Virtual reality (VR) applied to patients with neck pain is a promising intervention to produce positive effects when used alone or combined with exercise. Therefore, the objective of this manuscript is to compare the effects of VR versus exercise treatment on pain intensity, conditioned pain modulation (CPM), temporal summation (TS) and functional and somatosensory outcomes in patients with non-specific chronic neck pain (NS-CNP). Methods: A single-blinded, randomized clinical trial was carried out. A total sample of 44 patients with NS-CNP was randomized into a VR treatment group or neck exercises group. The intervention consisted of two treatment sessions per week, for four weeks and eight sessions. Four measurement moments (at baseline, immediately, 1 month, and 3 months after intervention) were considered. Pain intensity, CPM, TS, functional and somatosensory outcomes were measured. Results: Statistically significant differences were revealed for time factor (F = 16.40, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.28) and group*time interaction for kinesiophobia (F = 3.89, p = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.08) showing post-hoc differences in favor of the VR group at 3 months (p < 0.05, d = 0.65). Significant effects were shown for time factor (p < 0.05) but not for the group*time interaction (p > 0.05) for pain intensity, rotation range of motion (ROM), Neck Disability Index, pain catastrophizing, fear-avoidance beliefs, left side pressure pain threshold (PPT) and anxiety. Statistically significant differences were not found for time factor (p > 0.05) and neither in group*time interaction (p > 0.05) for CPM, TS, right side PPT, flexo-extension and lateral-flexion ROM. Conclusions: Kinesiophobia was the only outcome that showed differences between VR and exercise at 3 months. Nevertheless, pain intensity, CPM, TS, ROM, neck disability, pain catastrophizing, fear-avoidance beliefs, PPT and anxiety did not show differences between both interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise; neck pain; chronic pain; virtual reality; virtual reality exposure therapy exercise; neck pain; chronic pain; virtual reality; virtual reality exposure therapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tejera, D.M.; Beltran-Alacreu, H.; Cano-de-la-Cuerda, R.; Leon Hernández, J.V.; Martín-Pintado-Zugasti, A.; Calvo-Lobo, C.; Gil-Martínez, A.; Fernández-Carnero, J. Effects of Virtual Reality versus Exercise on Pain, Functional, Somatosensory and Psychosocial Outcomes in Patients with Non-specific Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165950

AMA Style

Tejera DM, Beltran-Alacreu H, Cano-de-la-Cuerda R, Leon Hernández JV, Martín-Pintado-Zugasti A, Calvo-Lobo C, Gil-Martínez A, Fernández-Carnero J. Effects of Virtual Reality versus Exercise on Pain, Functional, Somatosensory and Psychosocial Outcomes in Patients with Non-specific Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(16):5950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165950

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tejera, David M., Hector Beltran-Alacreu, Roberto Cano-de-la-Cuerda, Jose Vicente Leon Hernández, Aitor Martín-Pintado-Zugasti, César Calvo-Lobo, Alfonso Gil-Martínez, and Josué Fernández-Carnero. 2020. "Effects of Virtual Reality versus Exercise on Pain, Functional, Somatosensory and Psychosocial Outcomes in Patients with Non-specific Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 16: 5950. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165950

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