Objective: To investigate the reliability of a novel method to measure neck surface electromyography (SEMG), kinematics, and pain during active movements in participants with neck pain.
Methods: This test-retest study evaluated 23 participants with chronic neck pain. Each was measured twice within a single session. Three-dimensional kinematics and SEMG were recorded in 10° increments during forward and side flexion, extension, and rotation of the neck. Neck position during pain occurrence was also measured.
Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients were >0.80 for 96% and 100% of SEMG and kinematic data, respectively. The percentage of standard error of the measurement (SEM) values were <25% for 91% of all SEMG measures; most were <15%, and some were <10%. For ranges of motion in the primary plane, percentage of SEM values were all <6% (SEM 1°-3°). Intraclass correlation coefficients for neck position during pain occurrence were all >0.60, except for right rotation (0.48) (SEM values 2°-8°). Pain occurred approximately 59% to 75% into the total range of motion and persisted to its end.
Conclusions: This methodology showed good reliability. It may be suitable for neck pain subclassification to evaluate the effects of treatment on pain, kinematics, and muscle activity during functional neck movements. The point of pain occurrence suggests increasing mechanical load on tissues may be one of the causative factors for movement-associated neck pain.
Author keywords: Neck Pain, Electromyography, Movement
Author affiliations: IL-A, DJC: School of Population Sciences and Health Services Research, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; IL-A, JI: Department of Physiology, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain; DJN: Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; JS: Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), University of León, León, Spain
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