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Mechanisms of recovery after neck‐specific or general exercises in patients with cervical radiculopathy

Liew, Bernard XW and Peolsson, Anneli and Falla, Deborah and Cleland, Joshua A and Scutari, Marco and Kierkegaard, Marie and Dedering, Asa (2021) 'Mechanisms of recovery after neck‐specific or general exercises in patients with cervical radiculopathy.' European Journal of Pain. ISSN 1090-3801

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Abstract

Background The mechanisms of action that facilitate improved outcomes after conservative rehabilitation are unclear in individuals with cervical radiculopathy (CR). This study aims to determine the pathways of recovery of disability with different exercise programs in individuals with CR. Methods We analysed a dataset of 144 individuals with CR undergoing conservative rehabilitation. Eleven variables collected at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months follow‐up were used to build a Bayesian Network (BN) model: treatment group (neck‐specific vs. general exercises), age, sex, self‐efficacy, catastrophizing, kinesiophobia, anxiety, neck–arm pain intensity, headache pain intensity and disability. The model was used to quantify the contribution of different mediating pathways on the outcome of disability at 12th months. Results All modelled variables were conditionally independent from treatment groups. A one‐point increase in anxiety at 3rd month was associated with a 2.45‐point increase in 12th month disability (p <.001). A one‐point increase in head pain at 3rd month was associated with a 0.08‐point increase in 12th month disability (p <.001). Approximately 83% of the effect of anxiety on disability was attributable to self‐efficacy. Approximately 88% of the effect of head pain on disability was attributable to neck–arm pain. Conclusions No psychological or pain‐related variables mediated the different treatment programs with respect to the outcome of disability. Thus, the specific characteristics investigated in this study did not explain the differences in mechanisms of effect between neck‐specific training and prescribed physical activity. The present study provides candidate modifiable mediators that could be the target of future intervention trials. Significance Psychological and pain characteristics did not differentially explain the mechanism of effect that two exercise regimes had on disability in individuals with cervical radiculopathy. In addition, we found that improvements in self‐efficacy was approximately five times more important than that of neck–arm pain intensity in mediating the anxiety‐disability relationship. A mechanistic understanding of recovery provides candidate modifiable mediators that could be the target of future intervention trials. Trials registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01547611.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2021 16:10
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 16:10
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29940

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