Effects of Physiotherapy with and without Visual Biofeedback on Pain Intensity, Motivation and Function in Persons with Cervical Radiculopathy
Background. Visual biofeedback has been used in rehabilitation after various functional impairments and plays an important role in improving motor control. However, there is a lack of research analysing the effect of exercise, only physical therapy intervention versus visual biofeedback based exercise training for individuals with cervical radiculopathy in reducing pain intensity and increasing functional status and motivation.
Aim. To evaluate the effect of physiotherapy with and without biofeedback on pain intensity, motivation and function in individuals with cervical radiculopathy.
Methods. The study included 18 participants with cervical radiculopathy, who were randomly assigned into two groups. The first group (n = 9) received basic physiotherapy intervention (with no visual biofeedback) and the second group (n = 9) – physiotherapy intervention with visual feedback using mirror and pressure biofeedback unit. Both groups received 10 physiotherapy interventions. Before and after intervention pain intensity, active ranges of motion of the head and cervical spine were assessed as well as the function of the deep cervical flexor muscles and motivation of patients.
Results. The neck pain intensity decreased in both groups after intervention (p < 0.05). After both interventions active ranges of motion of cervical spine significantly improved (p < 0.05). There was no significant change in deep cervical flexor muscle function (p < 0.05). The internal rate of motivation was increased in individuals with cervical radiculopathy when using visual biofeedback exercise (p < 0.05).
Conclusions. Physiotherapy with and without visual feedback reduced pain intensity and range of motion in individuals with cervical radiculopathy. Physiotherapy with visual feedback was more effective in improving motivation.
Keywords: radiculopathy, neck pain, physiotherapy, visual feedback, motivation.
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