Superficial cervical muscle activation in chronic neck pain

Curtis, Sally Anne (2010) Superficial cervical muscle activation in chronic neck pain. University of Southampton, School of Health Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 259pp.


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Chronic neck pain can occur in a proportion of individuals who have suffered a whiplash injury and also in individuals that have not experienced a trauma to the neck. The mechanisms that cause chronic pain are unclear, and whether they differ in traumatic or non-traumatic onset is unknown.

A review of the background literature identified differences in muscle activation for individuals with chronic neck pain, following a whiplash injury and from a non traumatic onset, compared to healthy controls. However, differences in the combined action or synergy of superficial neck muscles in these chronic neck pain groups, during non-forced activities, had not been widely reported. A new methodology was developed to address this area of research. A pilot study was undertaken to establish the reliability of the method and to identify areas for refinement.

The main study employed the refined methodology to determine possible differences in activation and synergies of the upper trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles, alongside correlations of subjective pain and fatigue with surface electromyographic measures, using linear array electrodes.

Some differences in muscles activation and synergy were observed between the groups. Individuals showed different strengths of relationships between subjective and objective measures and different proportions of significant correlations were shown between groups.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: electromyography, fatigue, motor unit action potential
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 153893
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2010Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2010 14:36
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:25

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