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Background: Neck pain treatment has been a subject of controversy and heated debate among healthcare professionals and opinion leaders over years.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Noni juice and some selected physiotherapy modalities in the management of neck pain and stiffness in patients with cervical spondylosis.
Methodology: Ninety (90) patients, 42 men and 48 women diagnosed with cervical spondylosis participated in the study. They were assigned to three groups of thirty (14 men and 16 women) patients in each group. Group A subjects were treated with Noni juice alone; Group B with a combination of Noni and physiotherapy; and group C with physiotherapy alone. Pre and post treatment measures of cervical range of movements (ROM) and pain intensity were assessed using the universal goniometer and the visual analogue scale respectively.
Results: Significant reductions in pain intensity and improved neck flexibility (ROM) were achieved in all the three groups at the end of the four weeks study. 18/30 (60%), 27/30 (90%), and 25/30 (83%) of the subjects in groups A, B and C had complete relief or marked improvement of symptoms at the end of the study. The study reported a greater reduction in pain and improved neck flexibility/ROM in the group that received Noni combined with physiotherapy than either of the two groups.
Conclusion: There is a need for further research studies concerning the therapeutic effects of Noni in degenerative musculoskeletal conditions. But from the results of this study, Noni combined with physiotherapy is an efficacious treatment for the management of neck pain and neck stiffness in patients with cervical spondylosis. Therefore Noni may be incorporated into the treatment regimen of patients undergoing physiotherapy for degenerative condition of the spine.
Keywords: Tahitian Noni (Morinda citrifolia), Cervical spondylosis, neck pain, neck flexibility/ROM
Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 5 (2) 2006: 6-11