(HealthDay)—In adults with neck pain, those with asymmetry in the range of motion (ROM) of the upper cervical spine (UCS) have increased postural sway compared with those with symmetry, but postural function does not differ between the groups, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of Spine.
June Mei Tse Quek, of the Singapore General Hospital, and colleagues assessed the association between ROM in the UCS and postural control in 54 adults (mean age, 66 years) with neck pain.
The researchers found that the 34 patients with asymmetrical UCS ROM had 26 percent greater postural anteroposterior sway than the 20 patients with symmetrical UCS ROM. The ultra-low frequency content of the postural sway signal was higher in the group with asymmetrical UCS ROM than in those with symmetrical UCS ROM. However, no difference in postural sway velocity, gait speed, or neck pain intensity was observed between the groups.
"We hope that our findings will stimulate interventional studies that examine whether improving cervical flexion-rotation-ROM symmetry would improve postural control and may possibly reduce falls risks in older adults with neck pain," the authors write.
Explore further: Back pain putting people off balance
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)