Cervico-ocular coordination during neck rotation is distorted in people with whiplash-associated disorders

Bexander, C. S. M. and Hodges, P. W. (2012) Cervico-ocular coordination during neck rotation is distorted in people with whiplash-associated disorders. Experimental Brain Research, 217 1: 67-77. doi:10.1007/s00221-011-2973-8

Author Bexander, C. S. M.
Hodges, P. W.
Title Cervico-ocular coordination during neck rotation is distorted in people with whiplash-associated disorders
Journal name Experimental Brain Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-4819
Publication date 2012-03
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00221-011-2973-8
Volume 217
Issue 1
Start page 67
End page 77
Total pages 11
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract People with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) not only suffer from neck/head pain, but commonly report deficits in eye movement control. Recent work has highlighted a strong relationship between eye and neck muscle activation in pain-free subjects. It is possible that WAD may disrupt the intricate coordination between eye and neck movement. Electromyographic activity (EMG) of muscles that rotate the cervical spine to the right (left sternocleidomastoid, right obliquus capitis inferior (OI), right splenius capitis (SC) and right multifidus (MF)) was recorded in nine people with chronic WAD. Cervical rotation was performed with five gaze conditions involving different gaze directions relative to cervical rotation. The relationship between eye position/movement and neck muscle activity was contrasted with previous observations from pain-free controls. Three main differences were observed in WAD. First, the superficial muscle SC was active with both directions of cervical rotation in contrast to activity only with right rotation in pain-free controls. Second, activity of OI and MF varied between directions of cervical rotation, unlike the non-direction-specific activity in controls. Third, the effect of horizontal gaze direction on neck muscle EMG was augmented compared to controls. These observations provide evidence of redistribution of activity between neck muscles during cervical rotation and increased interaction between eye and neck muscle activity in people with WAD. These changes in cervico-ocular coordination may underlie clinical symptoms reported by people with WAD that involve visual deficits and changes in function during cervical rotation such as postural control.
Keyword Whiplash-associated disorders
Cervico-ocular reflex
Neck muscle activity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 17 December 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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