Cervical kinematic training with and without an interactive virtual reality device for chronic neck pain – a pilot randomized clinical trial

H. Sarig-Bahat, H. Takasaki, X. Chen, Y. Betor, J. Treleaven

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Background: Impairments in cervical kinematics are common in patients with neck pain. A virtual reality (VR) device has potential to be effective in the management of these impairments.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of kinematic training (KT) with and without the use of an interactive VR device.
Methods: In this assessor-blinded, allocation-concealed pilot clinical trial, 32 participants with chronic neck pain were randomised into the KT or kinematic plus VR training (KTVR) group. Both groups completed four to six training sessions comprising of similar KT activities such as active and quick head movements and fine head movement control and stability over five weeks. Only the KTVR group used the VR device. The primary outcome measures were neck disability index (NDI), cervical range of motion (ROM), head movement velocity and accuracy. Secondary measures included pain intensity, TAMPA scale of kinesiophobia, static and dynamic balance, global perceived effect and participant satisfaction.
Results: The results demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) improvements in NDI, ROM (rotation), velocity, and the step test in both groups post-intervention. At 3-month post-intervention, these improvements were mostly sustained, however due to a lack of a control group these changes cannot necessarily be fully attributed to the intervention. Between-group analysis showed only a few specific differences including global perceived change that was greater in the KTVR group.
Conclusion(s): This pilot study has provided several directions and justification for future research exploring the potential benefit of kinematic training and VR for those with neck pain in a larger cohort.
Implications: The study support the use of exercises aimed towards improving kinematic control of the neck in the management of neck pain and also demonstrated the potential of an interactive virtual reality (VR) device to assess and deliver this type of intervention. This could have important implications for future use in telemedicine and remote e-health.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
No1, Number 1 Supplement 1
Specialist publicationPhysiotherapy
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Cervical kinematic training with and without an interactive virtual reality device for chronic neck pain – a pilot randomized clinical trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this