A Novel Virtual Reality Technique (Cervigame®) Compared to Conventional Proprioceptive Training to Treat Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

I Rezaei, M Razeghi, S Ebrahimi, S Kayedi, A Rezaeian Zadeh


Background: Despite the potential benefits of virtual reality technology in physical rehabilitation, only a few studies have evaluated the efficacy of this type of treatment in patients with neck pain.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of virtual reality training (VRT) versus conventional proprioceptive training (CPT) in patients with neck pain.

Methods: Forty four participants with nonspecific chronic neck pain were randomly assigned to VRT or CPT in this assessor-blinded clinical trial. A novel videogame called Cervigame® was designed for VRT. It comprises of 50 stages divided into unidirectional and two-directional stages ordered from easy to hard. CPT consisted of eye-follow, gaze stability, eye-head coordination and position and movement sense training. Both groups completed 8 training sessions over 4 weeks. Visual analogue scale score, neck disability index and Y-balance test results were recorded at baseline, immediately after and 5 weeks post-intervention. Mixed repeated measure ANOVA was used to analyze differences between mean values for each variable at an alpha level of 0.05.

Results: There were significant improvements in all variables in both groups immediately after and 5 weeks after the intervention. Greater improvements were observed in the visual analogue scale and neck disability index scores in VRT group, and the results for all directions in Y-balance test were similar in both groups. No side effects were reported.

Conclusion: Improvements in neck pain and disability were greater in VRT than CPT group. Cervigame® is a potentially practical tool for rehabilitation in patients with neck pain.


Neck Pain, Virtual Reality, Proprioception, Cervicocephalic Kinesthesia, Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31661/jbpe.v9i3Jun.556

eISSN: 2251-7200        JBPE NLM ID: 101589641

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