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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Jan 15;31(2):E51-8.

Head repositioning accuracy in patients with whiplash-associated disorders.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Functional Anatomy, School of Sports and Physical Therapy, Centre for Functional Evaluation, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. vfeipel@ulb.ac.be

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Controlled study, measuring head repositioning error (HRE) using an electrogoniometric device.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare HRE in neutral position, axial rotation and complex postures of patients with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) to that of control subjects.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

The presence of kinesthetic alterations in patients with WAD is controversial.

METHODS:

In 26 control subjects and 29 patients with WAD (aged 22-74 years), head kinematics was sampled using a 3-dimensional electrogoniometer mounted using a harness and a helmet. All tasks were realized in seated position. The repositioning tasks included neutral repositioning after maximal flexion-extension, eyes open and blindfolded, repositioning at 50 degrees of axial rotation, and repositioning at 50 degrees of axial rotation combined to 20 degrees of ipsilateral bending. The flexion-extension, ipsilateral bending, and axial rotation components of HRE were considered. A multiple-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare tasks and groups.

RESULTS:

The WAD group displayed a reduced flexion-extension range (P = 1.9 x 10(-4)), and larger HRE during flexion-extension and repositioning tasks (P = 0.009) than controls. Neither group nor task affected maximal motion velocity. Neutral HRE of the flexion-extension component was larger in blindfolded condition (P = 0.03). Ipsilateral bending and axial rotation HRE components were smaller than the flexion-extension component (P = 7.1 x 10(-23)). For pure rotation repositioning, axial rotation HRE was significantly larger than flexion-extension and ipsilateral bending repositioning error (P = 3.0 x 10(-23)). Ipsilateral bending component of HRE was significantly larger combined tasks than for pure rotation tasks (P = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with WAD, range of motion and head repositioning accuracy were reduced. However, the differences were small. Vision suppression and task type influenced HRE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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