Neuromuscular adaptation in experimental and clinical neck pain

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2008 Apr;18(2):255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2006.11.001. Epub 2006 Dec 29.


The purpose of this brief review is to present evidence from experimental and clinical neck pain studies of pain-induced neuromuscular adaptations. It has been shown that clinical neck pain is associated with a substantial reorganization in the control strategies of cervical muscles during static and dynamic tasks. Experimental neck pain models allow local elicitation of nociceptive afferents, mimicking the sensory aspects of clinical pain, without major changes in muscle properties. These models may help understand the physiological mechanisms underlying the observations from clinical neck pain studies. The knowledge obtained from the interpretation of clinical findings with experimental pain models has relevance for the development of therapeutic interventions for the rehabilitation of patients with neck pain disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Neck Muscles / innervation
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology*
  • Nociceptors / physiopathology