Although impaired neck proprioception has been demonstrated in patients with chronic neck pain, previous studies have not consistently shown any association between pain intensity and proprioceptive performance. We therefore investigated whether temporal aspects of pain are associated with cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility. One hundred and twenty-seven adults with or without subclinical neck pain undertook two tasks, repositioning their heads to the neutral head position (head-to-NHP) and target position (head-to-target) in sagittal and transverse plane. Absolute error was calculated from position data recorded by an ultrasound-based motion analysis system. Pain frequency, duration, and intensity were evaluated using a questionnaire. A mixed effects model was constructed to test the effect on reposition error by different pain factors, with age, gender and maximal cervical range of motion as covariates. A higher pain frequency was associated with greater reposition errors for all movement directions in the head-to-NHP task. No consistent effect was observed for pain intensity or duration. In the case of the head-to-target task, no consistent effect was observed for any of the three pain factors. The findings reveal that pain frequency, not the intensity or duration of pain, is associated with neck proprioception in individuals with subclinical neck pain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation