Assessment of Chronic Neck Pain and a Brief Trial of Cervical Strengthening.

Rodriquez, Arthur A and Burns, Stephen P

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship among pain, disability, range of motion, isometric strength, and muscle tenderness in persons with chronic non-radicular neck pain and to compare them with healthy controls without neck pain.  Cross-sectional study of 30 subjects with and 14 without chronic neck pain. All subjects were administered pain scales, the neck disability index, isometric cervical strength, cervical range of motion, and a quantitated muscle tenderness measure. In addition, an uncontrolled trial of neck strengthening was performed on a subset of 14 subjects with the same outcome variables.

The results showed that muscle tenderness and disability (but not range of motion or muscle strength) is closely related to average pain in the previous week in neck pain subjects. Neck flexor muscle strengthening resulted in positive changes in pain, neck disability index, range of motion, and strength, but not tenderness.

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2008, 87(11), 903-909

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