2013/08 Assessment of Cervical Spine Range of Rotation with Inertial Sensors After a Vertebral Manipulation Procedure


“Impairment of the cervical spine range of motion plays an important role in chronic neck pain. Previous works have addressed such disturbances by using different laboratory devices, but most of these methods are not suitable to daily clinical practice. The effects of Muscle Energy Technique (MET) over rotation parameters are also largely unexplored in current literature and its therapeutic effects remains theoretical. The objective of this study is to assess maximum neck rotation range of motion by using Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) before and after an MET procedure applied to the neck region. The authors conducted a repeated measures experimental design with 18 subjects with chronic neck pain. The movement parameters were acquired using of two IMUs, one positioned in the forehead and the other in T4. The parameters investigated were the neck rotation (primary movement) and the associated coupled movements in frontal and sagittal planes. The results showed that maximum rotation was significantly increased after the procedure (p = 0.042) but with moderate effects. A major increase in range of motion was observed for the coupled motions (p = 0.042 and p = 0.022, for flexion/extension and lateral inclination, respectively). Pain intensity was significantly reduced post-treatment (p = 0.001). In conclusion, the MET approach was effective to increase the maximum range of neck rotation and associated coupled movements, but the largest effects were obtained for the associated coupled parameters. Pain intensity was also significantly reduced immediately after the manipulation.”