The effects of a relaxation program featuring aquatic therapy and autogenic training among people with cervical dystonia (a pilot study)

Ana Isabel Useros-Olmo, David Martínez-Pernía, David Huepe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Classic physical interventions for cervical dystonia (CD) have focused on treating motor components or, on motor components and relaxation programs. However, no CD treatment study has focused on a relaxation program alone. We developed a pilot study to assess whether a therapy completely based on a relaxation program could improve the physical and mental symptomatologies of patients with CD. Fifteen persons were included in the experimental group, which received individual sessions of aquatic (Watsu) therapy (WT) and autogenic training (AT). In addition, 12 persons were included in passive control group. We administered different questionnaires related to quality of life (SF-36), pain (Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS)) and mood (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)). A significant interaction was observed between treatment and time with regard to the SF-36, VAS, and TWSTRS within the experimental group (p < 0.01). The BDI-II showed depression decrease as a simple effect (p < 0.05), and the STAI did not change. No effects were found with regard to the control group. In this exploratory study, we found that a therapy based on whole body relaxation improved the symptoms of patients with CD. This knowledge enables a disease-management strategy that uses a holistic perspective and moves beyond the dystonic focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-497
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Cervical dystonia
  • Watsu therapy
  • autogenic training
  • body awareness
  • relaxation program

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