Effectiveness of Fustra-Exercise Program in Neck and Low Back Pain (FUSTRA)


UKK Institute




Low Back Pain, Recurrent
Neck Pain


Behavioral: Neuromuscular exercise

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of Fustra® exercise program in relieving recurrent pain in the neck or/and back, and thus improve quality of life in female and male office workers. The hypothesis is that neuromuscular exercise will improve control of posture and movement, neck shoulder and trunk flexibility, trunk muscular endurance and leg strength, and thus decrease intensity of pain by 30% compared to non-exercise group. In addition, financial feasibility of the exercise program and effects of training on quality of life and perceived work ability are studied.

Full description

Neck and low back pain (LBP) are the two major reasons for visiting a physician and they cause significant sickness absence from work. Neuromuscular exercise of at least moderate intensity is the only mode of therapeutic exercise, which has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and disability in recurrent or chronic neck and LBP. This study examines the effects of a standardized exercise program Fustra20 Neck & Back applied individually by educated exercise leaders in about 30 private sports clubs located in different parts of Finland. The target is to have 5-6 participants in each club. Recruitment began with advertisements in two national level newspapers. Interested individuals were asked to contact UKK Institute (UKKI) by phone or e-mail. In addition, the website of UKKI and the sports clubs are used to reach people more locally. Structured telephone interview is conducted to screen the eligible participants. Two researchers select the participants according to eligibility criteria. Accepted participants are invited to the study by personal e-mail including the detailed announcement of the study and approval papers to be signed in. The tester of each sport club, responsible for conducting the fitness measurements (baseline, 3 months, 12 months) will receive text message from UKKI including names and phone numbers of accepted study participants. After that UKKI sends similar type of text message to each Fustra exercise leaders including only those participants that were randomly allocated to exercise group. The exercise group will participate in individually guided, graded exercise twice a week for 20 times. Each session lasts one hour. Fustra exercise leaders have a personal diary for each participant, where they make notes on compliance and contents of each exercise session. After 20 sessions participants are encouraged to continue exercising at home with a help of an individual home exercise plan including diary of compliance. Participants allocated to control group are asked to continue their usual physical activity and exercise habits. After the final measurements at 12-month they have a possibility to participate to Fustra20 Neck & Back exercise for five times.


175 patients




30 to 50 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • age 30-50 years
  • sedentary "office" worker sitting at least 6 hours per day
  • rating of neck pain or low back pain in the past four weeks is at least 3 in 10 point scale (1-10)
  • number of pain episodes (neck/back) in the past year is at least 2

Exclusion criteria

  • chronic pain (neck/back) defined as continuous pain over 1 year
  • serious former neck injury (fracture, surgery, whiplash, protruded disc)
  • serious former back injury (fracture, surgery, protruded disc)
  • engaged in neuromuscular exercise 3 times a week or more
  • engaged in competitive sports
  • pregnant

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

175 participants in 2 patient groups

Neuromuscular exercise
Experimental group
The exercise group will participate in Fustra20 Neck & Back neuromuscular exercise program.
Behavioral: Neuromuscular exercise
Control group
No Intervention group
Participants are encouraged to continue there usual physical activity and exercise

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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