CEREBELLUM, vol.22, no.2, pp.305-315, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
This study aims to measure the effects of two different exercise programs on neck pain, proprioception, balance, coordination, posture, and quality of life in patients with Chiari malformation (CM) type 1. Sixteen patients were randomized to two different exercise programs: a tailored exercise protocol for CM (TEP-CM) and cervical spinal stabilization exercises (CSSE). Both exercise programs were implemented by a physiotherapist 3 days a week for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was Neck Disability Index. Secondary outcomes were visual analogue scale for pain, joint position sense error measurement, Berg Balance Scale, Time Up and Go Test, International Coordination Ataxia Rating Scale, PostureScreen Mobile, and Short Form-36. Assessments were done immediately before and after the intervention programs. Both groups showed significant improvement in Neck Disability Index, and some secondary outcome measures (P < 0.05). However, there were no statistical differences in post-intervention changes between the groups (P> 0.05). This is the first study to examine the effects of different exercise programs on symptoms in patients with CM type 1. Our preliminary findings indicate that exercise programs can improve pain, balance, proprioception, posture, coordination, and quality of life in CM type 1. Therefore, exercise should be considered safe, beneficial, and low-cost treatment option for CM type 1 patients without surgical indications.