Exercise can prevent neck pain

Engaging in physical exercise can prevent neck pain, especially among office workers. This is the finding from a recent systematic review with meta-analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Health Sciences in Bochum, Germany.

Sep 14, 2023, 4:55:23 PM
Jan Vestweber, Hochschule für Gesundheit

Neck pain is a common issue that can cause significant disability. It leads to substantial costs in the healthcare system and the economy at large through sick leave or reduced productivity. Implementing effective prevention strategies could reduce personal suffering and lead to notable cost savings. Researchers from Hochschule für Gesundheit in Bochum, Germany, and Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis to find out whether exercise could help prevent neck pain. "After evaluating several studies, we found that regular exercise can indeed reduce the risk of neck pain by about half, especially among office workers," says Florian Teichert from the University of Health Sciences. In total, the researchers analyzed five studies involving 1,722 participants. "The results so far are promising," says Daniel Belavy, Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Health Sciences. "For companies, the message is clear: If 100 people work in office settings, approximately 30 of them will experience neck pain in the next year. However, if an exercise program is implemented, this number nearly halves to 17 out of 100. Such programs, of course, have other benefits for staff and the company as well." The inspiration for this research came from Florian Teichert's master degree studies at the university. "It's commendable that Florian chose to delve into this important subject during his master's program," commented Daniel Belavy. "Such projects amplify the relevance of physiotherapy and other movement-based professions."

Contact for scientific information:

Florian Teichert, florian.teichert@hs-gesundheit.de Prof. Dr. Daniel Belavy, Tel. +49 234 77727-632, daniel.belavy@hs-gesundheit.de

Original Publication:

Teichert F, Karner V, Döding R, Saueressig T, Owen PJ, Belavy DL (2023): Effectiveness of exercise interventions for preventing neck pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2023.12063