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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 Nov-Dec;21(9):600-3.

Postural changes of the cervical spine in patients with nontoxic goiter.

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  • 1Center for Biomechanics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Odense, Denmark.



To investigate differences in cervical spine posture and range of motion and self-reported neck pain and headache between patients with nontoxic goiter compared with a matched control group.


An observational, controlled, blinded study.


The ambulatory outpatient facility of a university hospital.


Twenty-five nontoxic goiter patients and 25 matched nongoiterous control subjects from the Department of Endocrinology.


Participants were X-rayed from a lateral position in neutral, full flexion and full extension, and the radiographs were evaluated by a blinded examiner for anterior head carriage, maximal flexion, maximal extension and the extent and severity of any degenerative changes in the cervical spine. The degree of postural neck muscle tenderness was evaluated by a blinded rheumatologist using a validated Total Tenderness Score system. In addition, the two groups were compared for their self-reported frequency of neck pain and headaches.


A significant increase in anterior head carriage was found among the goiter patients (p = .01), together with a corresponding decrease in flexion (p = .01), whereas the corresponding increase in extension was not statistically significant (p = .16). A higher prevalence of headaches was found in the goiter group (p = .06), but there was no difference in neck muscle tenderness (p = .40) or frequency of neck problems (p = .40) between the groups. The severity of degenerative changes in the cervical spine (p = .22) and the number of vertebral levels with degenerative changes (p = .13) were similar in the two groups.


Goiters of > 100 g seem to alter the posture of the cervical spine, possibly resulting in a tendency for more frequent headaches. The changes do not seem to cause more neck pain, muscle tenderness or degeneration of the cervical spine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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