Newsletter Excerpts: 10 New Studies on Neck--December 2023

Michelle Burns
December 8, 2023

Here is some of the information I recently shared in the December newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on the neck, neck pain, and whiplash research. If you would be interested in receiving my other newsletters, which include links to the studies as well as special offers and sales coupons, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. IASTM vs myofascial release for neck pain
  2. McKenzie Neck exercises vs Contract-relax stretch
  3. Defining text neck
  4. Effect of diaphragmic breathing
  5. Exercise therapy including extensors for neck pain
  6. Low-level laser therapies for neck pain
  7. Effectiveness of McKenzie approach
  8. Effectiveness of Pilates
  9. Hatha yoga vs stretching exercise
  10. Effect of myofascial release


Video of neck and upper back muscles


1. A study titled Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization vs myofascial release therapy in treatment of neck pain: a randomized clinical trial, published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in Jun 2023 concludes: This study showed insignificant differences between groups.

2.  A study titled The Difference Between the Effects of McKenzie Neck Exercise and Contract-Relax Stretching on Neck Function in Onion Peelers with Myofascial Pain Syndrome, published in Health Sciences International Conference in Jun 2023 concludes: The McKenzie neck exercise intervention is better in improving the functional ability of the neck in onion peel workers with myofascial pain syndrome compared to the intervention contract-relax stretching.

3. A scoping review titled Defining Text Neck: A Scoping Review, published in European Spine Journal in Jul 2023 “text neck is regarded as a global epidemic Yet, there is a lack of consensus concerning the definition of text neck which challenges researchers and clinicians alike.” This study showed that posture is the defining characteristic of text neck in the academic literature. For research purposes, it seems that text neck is a habit of texting on the smartphone in a flexed neck position. Since there is no scientific evidence linking text neck with neck pain regardless of the definition used, adjectives like inappropriate or incorrect should be avoided when intended to qualify posture.

4. A study titled Effect of diaphragmatic breathing, respiratory muscle stretch gymnastics and conventional physiotherapy on chest expansion, pulmonary function and pain in patients with mechanical neck pain: A single group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental pilot study, published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in Oct 2023 concludes: rehabilitation strategies should emphasize breathing exercises to improve the lung function and pain scores in addition to conventional physiotherapy in rehabilitation of mechanical neck pain patients.

5. A study titled Exercise therapy including cervical extensor muscles in individuals with neck pain: a systematic review, published in Clinical Rehabilitation in Jul 2023 concludes: cervical extensor muscle exercises may reduce neck pain and disability…

6. A study titled Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in the Management of Neck Pain: Systematic Review, published in The Healer in 2022 concludes: laser therapy decreases pain in participants with persistent neck discomfort shortly after therapy. Laser therapy is proven to be more effective than placebo therapy in relieving arm and pain and improving cervical strength and flexibility in participants with severe pain and increasing the quality of life when compared to patients treated with a placebo laser therapy.

7.  A study, titled Effectiveness of McKenzie approach and segmental spinal stabilization exercises on neck pain in individuals with cervical postural syndrome: An experimental study, published in Journal of Education and Health Promotion in July 2023 concludes: McKenzie approach and segmental spinal stabilization exercises were effective on nick pain in individuals with cervical postural syndrome, but on comparing both techniques, McKenzie protocol is more beneficial than segmental spinal stabilization exercises.

8. A study titled Effect of Pilates exercise on balance and spinal curvature in subjects with upper cross syndrome: a randomized controlled clinical trial, published in Physiotherapy Quarterly of Wroclaw University in 2023 concludes: Pilates exercise program proved better than traditional physical therapy program in improving spinal curvature, balance, and function and reducing pain in UCS.

9. A study titled Pain reduction, physical performance, and psychological status compared between Hatha yoga and stretching exercise to treat sedentary office workers with mild/moderate neck/shoulder pain: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial, published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in Dec 2023 concludes:
• Both Hath yoga and stretching can decrease pain, anxiety/depression, and improve flexibility and neck functions.
• Hatha yoga was found to be non-inferior to stretching exercise
• Most of the participants reported being satisfied and most rated themselves as improved or much improved
• Concerning adverse events, Hatha yoga as well as stretching exercises was a safe regimen
• Hatha yoga can be an alternative or adjunct to stretching exercises for the treatment of mild to moderate MSK pain

10. A study titled Effect of Myofascial Release Therapy on Pain, Tissue Hardness, Range of Motion and Disability among patients with Text Neck Syndrome, published in Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology in 2023 concludes: Myofascial release has a better impact on treating pain, cervical range of motion, disability, and tissue hardness among patients with text neck syndrome.


Short video from Francois Albaranes Osteopathe of neck and upper back muscles during movements.

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