Design: Analytical cross-sectional study.
Setting: Amateur rugby union clubs in Bournemouth and Bristol, England.
Subjects: Thirty-five active, adult amateur male rugby union players, 18 forwards, mean age 28.39 years (S.D. 8.83) and 17 backs, mean age 25.88 years (S.D. 4.41) from two amateur rugby clubs.
Methods: Subjects were required to complete a pain questionnaire which included indicating their average pain over the preceding four weeks on a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS). Cervical range of motion was measured using a CROM device and proprioception by the subject's ability to accurately relocate the head on the trunk to a subjective straight ahead position following a near maximal rotation movement.
Results: There was an 83% prevalence of neck pain in forwards compared to 41% prevalence for backs. Decreased cervical range in motion was present for all of the backs and forwards. Decreased head repositioning accuracy occurred in 33% of forwards and 35% of backs.
Conclusions: The prevalence of neck pain was higher in forwards; however, the prevalence of decreased head repositioning accuracy was not statistically different from that of backs. All the forwards and backs demonstrated decreased cervical range of motion.
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