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Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2019 Jun;41:23-27. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2019.03.001. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Gait speed and gait asymmetry in individuals with chronic idiopathic neck pain.

Author information

Institute of Health Sciences, Dokuz Eylul University, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey. Electronic address:
School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Dokuz Eylul University, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey.
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Dokuz Eylul University, Balcova, Izmir, Turkey.



Recent studies have shown that individuals with chronic idiopathic neck pain (CINP) exhibit altered spatiotemporal gait parameters. Problems arising from the neck joints and related soft tissues, and most mechanical neck pain appear asymmetric. However, whether individuals with CINP have an asymmetric gait has not been clarified.


The aim was to investigate if there was a significant difference in gait speed (GS) and gait asymmetry (GA) between individuals with CINP and healthy controls.


Case-Control Study.


Twenty individuals with CINP and 20 healthy controls were included. All participants performed the 10-m walking test in three walking conditions: preferred walking (PW), preferred walking with head rotation and walking at maximum speed (MAXW). The timing gate system and pressure sensitive insoles were used to calculate GS and GA, respectively. GA was calculated using the difference between right and left swing durations.


Individuals with CINP had slower GS in all walking conditions compared to controls (p < 0.05). In PW and MAXW conditions, gait was found to be asymmetric in individuals with CINP compared to controls (p < 0.05). There was no difference in GA between the walking conditions in either group (p > 0.05).


Individuals with CINP had a slower and more asymmetrical gait. GA should be evaluated as a part of the routine gait analysis since it has potential to cause asymmetric loading on joints which could cause other musculoskeletal problems in the long-term. Also, future research is needed to clarify the reasons why gait is more asymmetric in individuals with CINP.


Chronic idiopathic neck pain; Gait asymmetry; Gait speed

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