Neck Pain-Related Disability, Pain Catastrophizing, and Cervical Range of Motion in patients with Chronic Neck Pain and Cervico-Craniofacial Pain

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Neck Pain-Related Disability, Pain Catastrophizing, and Cervical Range of Motion in patients with Chronic Neck Pain and Cervico-Craniofacial Pain

Neck pain (NP) is common in the adult general population, with prevalence estimates of between 30 and 50% showing an incidence rate between 146 and 213 per 1,000 patients per year. NP is strongly associated with cervico-craniofacial pain (CCFP). Furthermore, cervical disorders have been recognized as the possible cause of pain and disorders in distant structures.

Moreover, it appears that an intimate functional relationship exists between the neck and the craniofacial region as suggested by their anatomical and bio-mechanical interrelationships.

Several studies have demonstrated that stimulation of trigeminal-innervated structures evoked painful sensations in the neck and vice versa. In addition, it has been reported that injection of an inflammatory irritant into deep para-spinal tissues results in a sustained activation of both jaw and neck muscles. Craniofacial pain is associated with myofascial pain and could led to a psycho-physiological disorder involving central nervous system pain-regulatory systems which results in physiological and neuroendocrine responses to emotional and physical stressors.

A study was done to compare the neck pain-related disability, pain catastrophizing and cervical and mandibular ROM between patients with chronic mechanical NP and patients with CCFP, as well as asymptomatic subjects. Three groups were formed of 64 participants. All participants underwent a clinical examination evaluating the cervical range of motion and maximum mouth opening, neck disability index (NDI) and psychological factor of Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS).

Results indicated that there were no significant differences between patients with NP and CCFP for NDI and PCS. One- way ANOVA revealed the significant differences for all ROM measurements. The post hoc analysis showed no statistically significant differences in cervical extension and rotation between both patient groups. The Pearson correlation analysis showed a moderate positive association between NDI and the PCS for the group of patients with NP and CCFP.

The CCFP and NP patient groups showed similar neck disability levels and limitation in cervical ROM in extension and rotation. Both groups had positively correlated the NDI with the PCS. Longitudinal research is needed to verify these associations.

Pain Research and Treatment
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