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Table 1 Overview of included studies and descriptive study data

From: Effects of proprioceptive exercises on pain and function in chronic neck- and low back pain rehabilitation: a systematic literature review

Reference Participants   Intervention Comparator Outcome Group effect
Beinert [71] Total N 34 5 weeks, 15×15 min., three balance exercises with increasing difficulty: single leg, tandem, and standing on a wobble board No intervention; participants were instructed to maintain physical activity as usual Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NRS)
CH, 2013 Age: 23 Head relocation from neutral position
Pain area: NP Pre-rotated head relocation
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): nA
Chung [73] Total N 24 8 weeks, 3 sessions/week (duration not specified), 10 Min. warm-up followed by four lumbar stabilisation exercises on a small gymnastics ball 8 weeks, 3 sessions/week (duration not specified), 10 Min. warm-up followed by four lumbar stabilisation exercises on a mat Pain intensity VAS =
KR, 2013 Age: 38 Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) Weight bearing (postural sway) Multifidus cross section L2 and L3 Multifidus cross section L4 and L5
Pain area: LBP =
Cl. confirmed: Yes =
Gender (f/m): 11/13
Costa [69] Total N 154 8 weeks, 12×30 min. motor control exercise to improve function of specific muscles of the low back and control of posture and movement 8 weeks, 12×25 min. Shortwave Diathermy, Ultrasound (placebo) Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NRS) =
AU, 2011 Age: 54 Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS)
Pain area: LBP Global Impression of Recovery (GPE)
Cl. confirmed: No Roland Morris Score (RMS)
Gender (f/m): 28/51
Frih [67] Total N 107 4 weeks, 28×30 min. home-based rehabilitation programme: postural control, stretching and strengthening exercises 4 weeks, 12×90 min. standard rehabilitation programme: analgesic, electrotherapy, pain management, stretching, proprioceptive, and strengthening exercises Pain intensity VAS
TN, 2004 Age: 36 MacRae Schöber Index =
Pain area: LBP Finger-to-Floor (FTF) distance =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Thigh-leg (TL) angle =
Gender (f/m): 80/25 Shirado Test
Sorensen Test =
Quebec Functional Index =
Gatti [63] Total N 179 5 weeks, 10×60min. treadmill (15 min.), flexibility (30 min.), and trunk balance (15 min.) exercises 5 weeks, 10×60 min. treadmill (15 min.), flexibility (15 min.), and strengthening (15 min.) exercises Pain Intensity VAS (0 to 100) =
IT, 2009 Age: 58 Roland Morris Score (RMS)
Pain area: LBP Quality of Life, physical (SF-12p)
Cl. confirmed: Yes Quality of Life, mental (SF-12m) =
Gender (f/m): 11/23
Hudson [62] Total N 14 6 weeks, 6×60 min. multimodal treatments: coordinative, proprioceptive, strengthening, and educational components 6 weeks, 6-8×20 min. usual care (any combination of exercise, education, mobilisations, manipulations, electrotherapy, or acupuncture) Neck Disability Index (NDI) =
UK, 2010 Age: 43 Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NRS) =
Pain area: NP
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): 8/4
Humphreys [57] Total N 63 4 weeks, 56 treatments (twice a day, duration not specified) coordinative exercises (eye-head-neck coordination) No intervention Head Repositioning HRA
UK, 2002 Age: nA Self-reported Pain Intensity (VAS)
Pain area: NP
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): nA
Jin [72] Total N 14 4 weeks, 20×40 Min. Six different quadruped exercises on a wobble board 4 weeks, 20×40 Min. physical therapy (20 Min. hot press; 5 Min. ultrasound; 15 Min. transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) Pain intensity VAS
KR, 2013 Age: 45 Oswestry Disability Index (ODI)
Pain area: LBP Anticipatory postural adjustment
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): 8/6
Johannsen [64] Total N 40 12 weeks, 24×60min. warm up (10 min.) coordinative, proprioceptive, balance, and stability exercises (40 min.), stretching (10 min.) 12 weeks, 24×60min. endurance (10 min.), dynamic strengthening exercises (40 min.), and stretching (10 min.) Isokinetic back strength (KinCom II) =
DK, 1999 Age: 38 Patient's general assessment =
Pain area: LBP Pain score (0-8) =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Mobility score (cm) =
Gender (f/m): 93/120
Jull [58] Total N 64 6 weeks, 84×10 min. (twice per day) proprioceptive training (head relocation practice), coordinative exercises (eye/head coordination) 6 weeks, 84×10 min. (twice per week) strengthening of deep cervical flexor muscles Joint Position Error (JPE) =
AU, 2005 Age: 41 Left JPE
Pain area: NP Right JPE =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Extension Neck Disability Index (NDI) =
Gender (f/m): 64/0 Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) =
Marshall [70] Total N 54 4 weeks usual care, then 12 weeks, 12 proprioceptive and strengthening exercises using the therapy ball (Swiss ball) 4 weeks usual care, then 12 weeks home based therapy regime based on commonly recommended low back strengthening exercises Oswestry Disability Index =
NZ, 2008 Age: 35 FR-Response =
Pain area: LBP Feed-forward activation assessment =
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): 27/27
Morone [60] Total N 75 4 weeks, 12×45 min. perceptive rehabilitation with proprioceptive components 3 weeks, 10 sessions (duration per session not reported), Back School based on re-education of breathing, stretching, postural, and strengthening exercises Visual Analogue Scale
IT, 2011 Age: 55 McGill Pain Rating Index
Pain area: LBP Oswestry Disability Index =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Wadell Disability Index =
Gender (f/m): 54/21
Morone [60] Total N 75 4 weeks, 12×45 min. perceptive rehabilitation with proprioceptive components No intervention Visual Analogue Scale
IT, 2011 [60] Age: 55 McGill Pain Rating Index
Pain area: LBP Oswestry Disability Index =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Wadell Disability Index =
Gender (f/m): 54/21
Paolucci [61] Total N 45 59 4 weeks, 12×45 min. perceptive treatment with proprioceptive components 3 weeks, 10 sessions (duration per session not reported), Back School based on re-education of breathing, stretching, postural, and strengthening exercises McGill Pain Questionnaire =
IT, 2012 Age: LBP Centre of Pressure (CoP) area nA
Pain area: Yes CoP sway length nA
Cl. confirmed: nA CoP sway velocity AP nA
Gender (f/m):   CoP sway velocity LL nA
Revel [74] Total N 60 8 weeks, 16×45min. symptomatic analgesics, proprioceptive (head relocation practice), and coordinative (eye/head coordination) exercises, and coordinative exercises Symptomatic analgesics Head Repositioning Accuracy (HRA)
FR, 1994 Age: 46.8 Self-reported pain VAS
Pain area: NP Active Range of Motion: Extension =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Active Range of Motion: Rotation
Gender (f/m): 51/10 NSAID intake =
Self-assessed functional improvement
Sorensen [65] Total N 207 3 to 9 weeks, 1 to 3 × 30 to 60 min. educational program, stretching Undefined duration. Symptom based physical training programme, motor control of posture and movement OR therapy ball and dynamic exercises for balance, endurance, and strength Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NRS) =
DK, 2012 Age: 39.5 Activity Limitation Scale Fear =
Pain area: LBP Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire Back
Cl. confirmed: Yes Beliefs Questionnaire =
Gender (f/m): 105/95
Suni [59] Total N 106 48 weeks, 96 × 10 exercises for balance, coordination, strength, stretching, motor control, and educational No intervention (control group) VAS (past 7 days) =
FI, 2006 Age: 47.3 ODI =
Pain area: LBP PDI =
Cl. confirmed: Yes
Gender (f/m): 0/100
Stankovic [68] Total N 160 4 weeks, 20×30 min. motor control, strengthening, relaxation, breathing, stretching, proprioceptive, and coordinative exercises 4 weeks, 20×30 min. strengthening and stretching aerobic exercises Oswestry Disability Index (ODI)
RS, 2011 Age: 49.5 ODI subscale Pain
Pain area: LBP
Cl. confirmed: No
Gender (f/m): 60/140
Taimela [66] Total N 76 12 weeks, 12×45min. multimodal treatment: muscle endurance and coordination, relaxation training, educational, motor control, postural control Neck lectures and activated home exercises (home exercises were introduced and explained in the first two weeks) Cervical range of motion Cervical =
FI, 1999 Age: 42.3 Pressure pain threshold =
Pain area: NP Pain intensity (100mm VAS) =
Cl. confirmed: Yes Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire =
Gender (f/m): 36/14 Physical impairment in daily activities =
Taimela [66] Total N 76 12 weeks, 12×45min. multimodal treatment: muscle endurance and coordination, relaxation training, educational, motor control, postural control Neck lecture and recommendation of exercises Cervical range of motion Cervical =
FI, 1999 Age: 42.3 Pressure pain threshold =
Pain area: NP Pain intensity (100mm VAS)
Cl. confirmed: Yes Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire =
Gender (f/m): 36/14 Physical impairment in daily activities =
  1. Legend: LBP = low back pain; NP = neck pain; in favour of proprioceptive training (PrT); in favour of comparator; = no significant difference. Country codes: AU = Australia; CH = Switzerland; DK = Denmark; FI = Finland; FR = France; IT = Italy; KR = Republic of Korea; NZ = New Zealand; RS = Republic of Serbia; TN = Tunisia; UK = United Kingdom.