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Exercise for neck pain: A research informed approach



Impairments in movement and neuromuscular function are an almost obligatory feature of musculoskeletal conditions and neck pain is no exception. Evidence for modification of motor and/or sensory functions has been reported for people with neck pain disorders, and these changes have become common targets for rehabilitation. Impairments in movement and neuromuscular function appear early after the onset of neck pain and do not automatically reverse over time in the absence of specific training interventions. Importantly, these ongoing changes in movement and neuromuscular function have been shown to contribute to repeated episodes of neck pain. This highlights the importance of early and effective exercise interventions not only for pain relief, but also for restoration of movement and neuromuscular function.


This workshop will present a research-informed exercise approach for the management of neck pain. This exercise program includes a progressive range of neck exercises that are based on precise movement analysis and muscle testing. Relevant to clinical practice, such specific exercise programs to retrain muscle function in patients with neck pain have shown favourable responses in terms of improvements in pain, disability, and restoration of neuromuscular function.


Target Group


Any physiotherapist who manages people with neck pain



    • Practical session including movement analysis and specific muscles tests for the cervical region
    • Practical session presenting a specific exercise approach for managing cervical neuromuscular and movement dysfunction
    • Practical session including movement analysis and specific muscles tests for the scapular region
    • Practical session presenting an exercise approach for managing axio-scapular muscle dysfunction
    • Assessment and management of sensorimotor disturbances in neck pain including impaired proprioception, oculomotor control disturbances and impaired balance. Includes both theory and practical session
    • Key principles of evidence based therapeutic exercise for neck pain disorders.
    • Consideration of the overall management of patients with neck pain disorders




    To develop practical skills in the assessment of movement and muscle function and a progressive exercise programme for managing people with neck pain.




    • Skills for the assessment of cervical neuromuscular dysfunction
    • Skills for the assessment of axio-scapular neuromuscular dysfunction
    • Skills for implementing a research informed exercise intervention for people with neck pain
    • Skills for assessing and managing sensorimotor dysfunction
    • understand key principles under effective exercise for neck pain



    After completion of the course, participants will have the knowledge and practical skills to assess and manage neuromuscular impairments accompanying neck pain. The contents of this course is built on over 20 years of research by the Course Presenter on the management of neck pain via exercise.


      Continuing education units

      For the course,you will receive 16 CEU of 45 minutes each.

      BPhty(Hons), PhD

      Ausbildung und Werdegang

      Professor Deborah Falla is Chair in Rehabilitation Science and Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham, UK and is the Director of the Centre of Precision Rehabilitation for Spinal Pain (CPR Spine). Her research focuses on optimizing the management of musculoskeletal disorders with a particular interest in spinal pain. She has published over 300 papers in international, peer-reviewed journals, and has delivered more than 40 keynote lectures. Additionally, she has delivered over 200 invited post-graduate workshops on the management of neck pain to health care practitioners in over 20 countries ensuring translation of her research to the benefit of the patient. Professor Falla has received several recognitions and awards for her work including the German Pain Research Prize in 2014, the George J. Davies - James A. Gould Excellence in Clinical Inquiry Award in 2009 and the Delsys Prize for Electromyography Innovation in 2004. Professor Falla is an author/editor of three books including the latest entitled “Management of neck pain disorders: a research informed approach” (Elsevier). Professor Falla acts as an Associate Editor for Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. She was President of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK) from 2016 to 2018.

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