HealthDay News — For individuals with chronic spinal pain, pain neuroscience education combined with cognition-targeted motor control training seems more effective than current best-evidence physical therapy, according to a study published online April 16 in JAMA Neurology.
Anneleen Malfliet, from the Research Foundation-Flanders in Belgium, and colleagues compared pain neuroscience education and cognition-targeted motor control training with current best-evidence physical therapy for individuals with chronic spinal pain in a multicenter randomized clinical trial. One hundred twenty patients with chronic nonspecific spinal pain in 2 outpatient hospitals were randomized into either an experimental group (combined pain neuroscience education and cognition-targeted motor control training) or a control group (education on back and neck pain and general exercise therapy).
The researchers found that reduced pain, higher pressure pain thresholds at primary test site at 3 months, and reduced central sensitization inventory scores at 6 and 12 months were experienced by participants in the experimental group. These patients also experienced improved function and significant and clinically relevant reduction of disability at 3, 6, and 12 months. Better mental health at 6 months, and better physical health at 3, 6, and 12 months were also reported for the experimental group.
“Pain neuroscience education combined with cognition-targeted motor control training appears to be more effective than current best-evidence physical therapy for improving pain, symptoms of central sensitization, disability, mental and physical functioning, and pain cognitions in individuals with chronic spinal pain,” the authors write.