Differential changes in muscle composition exist in traumatic and nontraumatic neck pain

Elliott, James M., Pedler, Ashley R., Jull, Gwendolen A., Van Wyk, Luke, Galloway, Graham G. and O'Leary, Shaun P. (2014) Differential changes in muscle composition exist in traumatic and nontraumatic neck pain. Spine, 39 1: 39-47. doi:10.1097/BRS.0000000000000033

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Author Elliott, James M.
Pedler, Ashley R.
Jull, Gwendolen A.
Van Wyk, Luke
Galloway, Graham G.
O'Leary, Shaun P.
Title Differential changes in muscle composition exist in traumatic and nontraumatic neck pain
Journal name Spine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0362-2436
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000033
Open Access Status
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 39
End page 47
Total pages 9
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Abstract Study Design. A population based cross-sectional study.
Formatted abstract
Study Design. A population based cross-sectional study.

Objective. To clarify relative constituents of viable muscle in 2-dimensional cross-sectional area (CSA) measures of ventral and dorsal cervical muscles in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD), idiopathic neck pain, and healthy controls.

Summary of Background Data. Previous data using T1-weighted magnetic resonance image demonstrated large amounts of neck muscle fat infiltration and increased neck muscle CSA in patients with chronic WAD but not in idiopathic neck pain or healthy controls.

Methods. Magnetic resonance images were obtained for 14 cervical muscle regions in 136 females, including 79 with chronic whiplash, 23 with chronic idiopathic neck pain, and 34 healthy controls.

Results. Without fat removed, relative CSA of 7 of 14 muscle regions in the participants with chronic WAD was larger, 3 of 14 smaller and 4 of 14 similar to healthy individuals. When T1-weighted signal representing the lipid content of these muscles was removed, 8 of 14 relative muscle CSA in patients with whiplash were similar, 5 of 14 were smaller and only 1 of 14 was larger than those observed in healthy controls. Removal of fat from the relative CSA measurement did not alter findings between participants with idiopathic neck pain and healthy controls.

Conclusion. These findings clarify that previous reports of increased relative CSA in patients with chronic whiplash represent cervical muscle pseudohypertrophy. Relative muscle CSA measures reveal atrophy in several muscles in both patients with WAD and idiopathic neck pain, which supports inclusion of muscle conditioning in the total management of these patients.
Keyword Muscle
Magnetic resonance imaging
Neck pain
Traumatic neck pain
Nontraumatic neck pain
Idiopathic neck pain
Muscle composition
Whiplash associated disorders
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 11 Feb 2014, 00:36:54 EST by Adina Trutwin on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital