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Table 3 Interventions

From: The effect of massage therapy and/or exercise therapy on subacute or long-lasting neck pain - the Stockholm neck trial (STONE): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Treatment arm


Time per treatment

Number of sessions


Massage (A)

Massage will be applied to the neck, thoracic spine area, TMJa (if indicated) and chest (including the chest muscles)

30 min (in total 45 min session)

up to 6

6 weeks

Exercise therapy (B)

Self-mobilization exercise (gentle controlled movement) of the neck and shoulder joints, including neck retraction, extension, flexion, rotation, lateral bending motions, and scapular retraction) and strengthen exercises

30 min (in total 45 min session)

Up to 6

6 weeks

Massage and Exercise therapy (C)

Combination of A + B

50 min, 25 min of each (in total 60 min session)

Up to 6

6 weeks

Massage treatment followed by physical exercise.

Advice to stay active (D)

Support and advice on staying active and on pain coping strategies, according to guidelines and evidence-based reviews

30 min

Up to 3

6 weeks

  1. aTMJ: temporomandibular joint