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A comparison of 3 types of neck support in Fibromyalgia (FM) patients

  [ 118 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • October 2, 1998

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of 3 types of neck
support for patients with fibromyalgia (FMS) and their
preference for the type of support.

METHODS: Thirty-five
patients with FMS chose the order of application and used each
type of neck support for a 2-week period, followed by a 2-week
washout. The same schedule was repeated a second time. The
neck supports included a Shape of Sleep pillow, two neck ruffs
with one standard pillow, and a single standard pillow. All
subjects received a physiotherapy treatment and educational
program in the home. Outcome measures included visual analog
scales (VAS) for neck pain and quality of sleep, the
Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and a neck and
shoulder pain distribution diagram.

RESULTS: Analysis using
Friedman's 2-way analysis of variance revealed no significant
differences in any outcome measure, although there was a trend
towards improvement in the FIQ and VAS neck pain and quality
of sleep scores for some patients. Most participants (62.9%)
preferred the Shape of Sleep pillow, 20.0% preferred cervical
ruffs with one standard pillow, and 17.1% preferred a single
standard pillow.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are
inconclusive due to the small sample size. However, from a
patient's perspective, neck support is an important part of a
comprehensive physiotherapy program. Most participants
preferred the more rigid support of a Shape of Sleep pillow.
Further research into the efficacy of the use of neck support
in people with FMS is warranted.

Ambrogio N, Cuttiford J, Lineker S, Li L

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