Researchers get a handle on neck pain

Each year, neck pain affects an estimated 640,000 Australians and costs approximately $1.14 billion in associated health care.

In collaboration with researchers from the University of Queensland, the Newcastle research team is studying the most effective type and dose of physiotherapy for patients experiencing neck pain.

Chief researcher, Dr Suzanne Snodgrass, from the University of Newcastle, said the research could help determine the specific amount of physiotherapy treatment needed to immediately reduce neck pain symptoms.

“Dosage is important for medications, but for physiotherapy treatments that are applied with the hands, dosage has been difficult to quantify. Traditionally treatment is based upon the physiotherapist’s judgment but our aim is to find the most effective approach,” she said.

“Neck pain is a significant societal problem. Studies show that people with neck pain are more likely to report psychological distress and risky health behaviours than those without symptoms.”

The research team is recruiting individuals from the Hunter region, who have experienced neck pain for longer than three months, to participate in the study. Participants must be aged between 18-55 years and should not have any conditions that prohibit physiotherapy treatment to the neck.

Participants will be required to attend the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus on two occasions.

For more information about the study or to volunteer to participate, please contact Dr Suzanne Snodgrass on 02 49212089 or [email protected].

The research is supported by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Dr Snodgrass conducts research in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). HMRI is a partnership between the University, Hunter New England Health and the community.

For interviews: Dr Suzanne Snodgrass, University of Newcastle, 02 4921 2089 or Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations at the University of Newcastle, on 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038477.