Effects of Combining Diaphragmatic Exercise with Physiotherapy on Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Chronic neck pain (CNP) is of the most common symptoms of musculoskeletal disorder. Diaphragmatic exercises can reduce pain, and disability, improve proprioception, and correct forward head posture (FHP) in patients with CNP. The present study aims to determine the effect of combining diaphragmatic exercises with physiotherapy on pain, disability, and active range of motions of cervical and FHP in individuals with CNP.

Materials and Methods

Thirty women with CNP were randomly divided into two combined groups of diaphragmatic exercises and physiotherapy (DEPT) and PHYSIOTHERAPY ALONE (PT). Each person received ten sessions of treatment over two weeks. The results were assessed in the first and tenth sessions as well as two weeks later. Pain intensity was measured by visual analogue scale (VAS), disability by neck disability index (NDI), cervical active range of motions (CAROMs) by goniometry, and FHP by a lateral photograph.


The VAS, neck disability index (NDI), CAROMs, and FHP were improved after the tenth session and in a two-week follow-up (P<0.001). A significant difference was observed between the groups for average changes of VAS (P=0.04) and active extension (P<0.001) after the tenth session, while the average changes between the two groups of cervical active left lateral flexion (P=0.82) and left rotation (P=0.11) in the next two weeks was not significant.


Both groups showed improvement in neck pain, disability, CAROMs, and FHP. However, diaphragmatic exercises and physiotherapy (DEPT) seem to have more lasting effects. Therefore, it is recommended to evaluate and modify the breathing patterns in the first line of treatment programs for patients with CNP.

Journal of Modern Rehabilitation, Volume:17 Issue: 1, Winter 2023
83 to 92
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