Patients with non-specific neck disorders commonly report upper limb disability

Osborn, William and Jull, Gwendolen (2013) Patients with non-specific neck disorders commonly report upper limb disability. Manual Therapy, 18 6: 492-497. doi:10.1016/j.math.2013.05.004

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Author Osborn, William
Jull, Gwendolen
Title Patients with non-specific neck disorders commonly report upper limb disability
Journal name Manual Therapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1356-689X
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2013.05.004
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 18
Issue 6
Start page 492
End page 497
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Language eng
Subject 3612 Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Abstract Patients with neck disorders can report difficulties with functional use of their upper limb because of their neck pain. Yet, there is little information on the frequency and specifically, the nature of these upper limb activities. This study surveyed patients with neck pain disorders (n=103) presenting for management at private physiotherapy clinics in a large metropolitan area to investigate the frequency and nature of reduced upper limb function. Participants were asked to complete four questionnaires, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, the Neck Disability Index (NDI), Pictorial Fear of Activity Scale-Cervical (PFActS-C) and Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS). Approximately 80% of patients spontaneously reported that upper limb activities aggravated their neck pain (PSFS). Most frequently, these activities involved loading of the upper limb such as lifting. Eight activity items on the DASH were scored positive by ≥50% of participants. Participants had mild to moderately severe neck pain (NDI: range 2-68%). The DASH and NDI were moderately-highly correlated (ρ=0.669; p<0.001), indicating the higher the neck pain severity the greater the upper limb functional restrictions. There was a low correlation between the NDI and PFActS-C (ρ=0.319; p=0.001). These findings provide evidence that upper limb function is often impaired in association with neck pain disorders and suggest clinicians should routinely question patients regarding upper limb function. The DASH could be used as a suitable outcome measure in its current or possibly a modified form.
Keyword Neck pain
Upper limb function
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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