We already know that the different regions of the neck have different movement functions and that certain types of neck complaint are associated with a deterioration of functionality of the upper region of the neck. We have, therefore, developed a method for measuring bending movements in the neck separately for the upper and lower regions of the neck.
In an initial study, we examined the differences in the neck's movement range among 102 women with long-term neck pain and 32 women with no neck complaints. The results showed that the group with neck pain had a reduced range of motion in both upper and lower regions of the neck when compared with the control group.
We also found that the reduction of movement in the upper region of the neck among people with neck pain was only apparent when bending the neck backwards. The degree of reduction in the group with neck pain was also related to the degree of pain and the individual's perception of their physical function. In an in-depth study, we will examine the mechanisms behind the reduction of movement range in a particular direction in greater detail in order to better understand disruptions in the function of the neck as a result of neck pain.