Correlation Between Proprioception and Cervical Functions in Individuals with Chronic Neck Pain

Justina Šimkutė, Inga Muntianaitė, Ligita Aučynienė, Dainė Janonienė


Background. Neck pain can affect cervical functions: reduce cervical range of motion, muscle strength and endurance. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to the assessment of proprioception in individuals with neck pain. It is believed that neck proprioception dysfunction can be linked with neck pain, reduced cervical range-of-motion, muscles strength and endurance. The aim of research was to assess neck dysfunction and proprioception relationship with neck muscle functions, cervical range of motion in individuals with neck pain. Methods. Thirty fve neck pain patients participated in this survey. Neck pain intensity was evaluated using a visual analogue pain scale, neck position sense, cervical active range of motion, cervical muscle strength using Lafayette handheld dynamometer, cervical muscle strength endurance were also evaluated in this study. The statistical analyses were performed. The averages and standard deviations were calculated. Averages were compared with the norm rates. Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlations were used for relationship assessment. Results. The neck position sense and cervical active range of motion statistically signifcantly differed from the norm. There was a difference between lateral neck flexion to the right and to the left – 18° (p < 0.05). The left neck rotation muscles were stronger than the right ones (p < 0.05). Neck extensors had greater endurance than neck flexors for 94.69 seconds (p < 0.05). A statistically significant inverse relationship was found between pain and muscle strength, endurance, and cervical flexion range of motion (p < 0.05). The neck position sense did not correlate with pain. Neck extension position sense negatively correlated with neck muscle group strength endurance (p < 0.05). Conclusions. Individuals with neck pain had neck position sense impairment, muscle imbalance between neck flexors and extensors, and reduced all cervical ranges of motion. With increasing neck pain, intensity muscle strength, muscle endurance, cervical flexion range of motion decreased, but the neck position sense did not correlate with pain. Neck extension position sense was related with all neck muscle group strength endurance.

Keywords: neck pain, neck proprioception, muscle strength, muscle endurance, cervical range of motion.

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