OBJECTIVE: The aim is to verify whether there is difference in neck strength between healthy individuals and individuals with chronic neck pain.
METHODS: The PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched. Two independent reviewers selected relevant full articles comparing neck strength between healthy individuals and individuals with chronic neck pain. Two independent reviewers extracted the data from the full articles selected. A meta-analysis was used to assess standardized mean differences in neck strength based on a random-effects model (Prospero number CRD42017081502).
RESULTS: The search returned 3554 results; 15 articles were included. The chronic neck pain group showed lower neck strength compared with healthy individuals. The standardized mean difference was -0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -1.13 to -0.67) for flexion, -0.79 (95% CI = -0.99 to -0.60) for extension, -0.74 (95% CI = -1.03 to -0.45) for right lateral flexion, and -0.75 (95% CI = -1.04 to -0.46) for left lateral flexion.
CONCLUSION: Based on this meta-analysis with a 3a level of evidence, individuals with chronic neck pain have lower neck strength for flexion, extension, and the lateral flexion of the neck than healthy controls.
Author keywords: Neck Pain, Muscle Strength, Kinetics, Meta-Analysis
Author affiliations: IFM, ESWM, JFL: Department of Physical Education, Physiotherapy, and Dance, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; WD: Faculty of Serra Gaúcha, Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; GAB: University of Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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