Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 20657
  Title Cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility and postural balance in patients with nontraumatic chronic neck pain: A pilot study
Journal Chiropr & Osteopat. 2009 ;17(1):Online access only
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Controlled Clinical Trial
Abstract/Notes BACKGROUND: Although cervical pain is widespread, most victims are only mildly and occasionally affected. A minority, however, suffer chronic pain and/or functional impairments. Although there is abundant literature regarding nontraumatic neck pain, little focuses on diagnostic criteria. During the last decade, research on neck pain has been designed to evaluate underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, without noteworthy success. Independent researchers have investigated postural balance and cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility among patients with chronic neck pain, and have (in most cases) concluded the source of the problem is a reduced ability in the neck's proprioceptive system. Here, we investigated cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility and postural balance among patients with nontraumatic chronic neck pain.

METHODS: Ours was a two-group, observational pilot study of patients with complaints of continuous neck pain during the 3 months prior to recruitment. Thirteen patients with chronic neck pain of nontraumatic origin were recruited from an institutional outpatient clinic. Sixteen healthy persons were recruited as a control group. Cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility was assessed by exploring head repositioning accuracy, and postural balance was measured with computerized static posturography.

RESULTS: Parameters of cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility were not reduced. However, in one of six test movements (flexion), global repositioning errors were significantly larger in the experimental group than in the control group (p < 0.05). Measurements did not demonstrate any general impaired postural balance, and varied substantially among participants in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with nontraumatic chronic neck pain, we found statistically significant global repositioning errors in only one of six test movements. In this cohort, we found no evidence of impaired postural balance. Head repositioning accuracy and computerized static posturography are imperfect measures of functional proprioceptive impairments. Validity of (and procedures for using) these instruments demand further investigation.

Click on the above link for free full text. This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. PubMed Record

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