Perceived pain and disability but not fear of movement are associated with altered cervical kinematics in people with acute neck pain following a whiplash injury

Ahmed Alalawi, Alejandro Luque-Suarez, Manuel Fernandez-Sanchez, Ruben Tejada-Villalba, Rafael Navarro-Martin, Valter Devecchi, Alessio Gallina, Deborah Falla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objectives: To determine if measures of cervical kinematics are altered in people with acute whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and secondarily, to examine whether kinematic variables are associated with self-reported outcomes. Methods: We recruited people with acute WAD within 15 days after a motor vehicle collision and asymptomatic control participants. All participants performed active neck movements at a self-determined velocity. Maximal range of motion (ROM), peak and mean velocity of movement, smoothness of movement, and cervical joint position error were assessed. Moreover, self-reported measures of perceived pain and disability, pain catastrophising, and fear of movement were obtained. Results: Sixty people participated: 18 with acute WAD (mean age [SD] 38.7 [12.0]) and 42 as asymptomatic controls (mean age [SD] 38.4 [10.2]). Participants with acute WAD showed significantly decreased ROM in all movement directions (p < 0.0001). All participants with acute WAD showed a reduction in the mean and peak velocity of movement in all directions (p < 0.0001) and the number of velocity peaks was significantly higher (i.e., reduced smoothness of movement) in those with acute WAD in all directions (p < 0.0001). Repositioning acuity following cervical rotation was not significantly different between groups. Neck pain-related disability showed the largest number of significant associations with kinematic features, while fear of movement was not associated with measures of cervical kinematics. Conclusions: Participants with acute WAD presented with altered cervical kinematics compared to asymptomatic participants. Several measures of cervical kinematics were associated with the level of pain and disability in people with acute WAD but not their fear of movement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102633
Number of pages8
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Volume62
Early online date4 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Whiplash
  • Neck pain
  • Kinematics
  • Smoothness
  • Velocity
  • Movement analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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