In contrast, exercise programs do seem to be helpful for preventing neck pain. 2 trials were identified during the review of published research. One of these trials tested an exercise program involving stretching exercises and endurance exercises for the neck muscles. This halved the risk of a new episode of neck pain, which was a fairly precise estimate.
The other study examined aerobic exercise and supplemented it with health information, stress management training and a practical examination of the work place. Although the best estimate from this study was that the effect was even more favourable, it was quite an imprecise (or uncertain) estimate.
When the results of these 2 studies were pooled, the overall result was a statistically significant reduction in the risk of a future episode of neck pain by about half.