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Neck Specialist in Surprise – Neck Motion

Our neck specialist in Surprise, had some comments regarding a recent study in Spine as it pertains to the motion of your neck and pain.

Did you know that neck motion decreases with age but it is usually painless?

Neck pain is a common condition that affects the upper (cervical) spine, and most cases is considered nonspecific, meaning there is no specific cause that can be identified.  Up to 43% of patients with nonspecific neck pain visit their doctor for advice, and about 61% of them are referred to a physical therapist for treatment.  During the examination, physical therapists usually measure the range of motion (ROM) of the neck—how far it can move in various directions—since a goal of treatment is to improve the mobility of the cervical spine.  Unfortunately, there is little information about the normal values for cervical ROM (CROM), which makes it difficult to interpret results.  Therefore, a study was conducted to establish normal CROM values and to examine the effects of age and sex on these values.

100 participants in four decades were measured

A total of 400 people without any neck complaints participated in the study, with 100 people (50 males, 50 females) for each decade of age from 20-59.  A CROM device was used for all measurements because it’s easy to use and very reliable, and works by being placed on the head like spectacles.  Volunteers were given clear instructions on their posture and what movements to make, and made a variety of movements three times in each direction before being measured.

Using normal values can help determine if patients lack mobility

Results showed that neck motion decreases significantly in all directions in the decade of 50-59 years when compared to people younger than 40.  Unsurprisingly, the largest difference for all directions was found between 20-29 and 50-59 years, as there was a significant decrease in neck motion from ages that seemed to begin between 40-49 and continued into the 50s.  Aside from these age differences—which may be due to issues like osteoarthritis—no notable differences were found between males and females.  This study now provides normal CROM values for people aged 20-59 without neck pain, and can be consulted by medical professionals during assessments.  A future study that performs the same analysis on patients with neck complaints will be an even greater help by being able to compare values of healthy people to those with neck pain.

Here’s a quick abstract of the reference:

Four hundred asymptomatic persons were included, 100 for each decade of age from 20 years to 60 years and in each subgroup 50 males and 50 females. ACROM was measured with the cervical range of motion (CROM) device. Analysis of variance and the Scheffé post hoc test was used to investigate the differences of ACROM between the decades of age. Linear regression analysis was performed to examine the influence of age and sex on ACROM.

The results of this study show that the ACROM decreases significantly in persons older than 50 years for all directions except extension and side flexion compared with that in the subgroup aged 40 to 50. Age had an overall significant effect on the ACROM for all directions. Sex proved to have no significant effect on the ACROM.

Normal values were established for ACROM in a group of 400 persons without neck complaints. It was demonstrated that age has a significant influence on the ACROM, but sex has no influence.

You don’t need to suffer with spine pain – conservative care is available

The physical therapists at Vital Care Rehab are experts at neck pain treatment.  If you have pain and are looking for a neck pain specialist in Surprise, physical therapy is a great first choice. It is easy to get in to see our specialists, it’s affordable, covered by most insurance plans, is drug-free, and has little to no side effects.  Give us a call today to learn more.