Using cervical movement velocity to assist the prediction of pain and functional recovery for people with chronic mechanical neck pain

Sharon M.H. Tsang (Corresponding Author), Grace P.Y. Szeto, Billy C.L. So, Rufina W.L. Lau, Jay J. Tai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Impaired cervical kinematics particularly the movement velocity had been consistently found in people with neck pain. The recovery and potential of cervical movement velocity in assisting the prediction of recovery in individuals with chronic neck pain remained unknown. This study investigated the application of cervical movement velocity to predict the outcomes of pain intensity and functional disability for a cohort of participants with chronic mechanical pain after completion of a 12-week intervention program. Methods: Cervical movement velocity when performing neck motions in the anatomical planes, pain intensity and functional disability score were assessed before and after the physiotherapy program. Correlations between kinematic and clinical outcomes, and validity of applying the peak velocity values of the cervical spine measured at baseline for prediction of recovery of pain and function after the physiotherapy program were examined (n = 68). Findings: Significant improvements were found in the peak values of cervical velocity in all movement planes, pain intensity and functional disability score at post-program reassessment (p < 0.001). Significant negative correlations between peak values of cervical movement velocity and pain intensity (for specific directions, r = −0.163 to −0.191), and functional disability were found (for all directions, r = −0.158 to −0.282). Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve was >0.6 for cervical extension, flexion and right rotation velocity for predicting functional recovery post-program. Interpretation: These findings suggest that cervical velocity of selected planes measured at baseline may inform the prediction of recovery of functional disability but not pain intensity in people with chronic mechanical neck pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105607
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Volume93
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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