Neck pain causes respiratory dysfunction

Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(5):1009-13. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.07.050. Epub 2007 Oct 23.


This paper describes a presumptive mechanism for the development of changes in respiratory function due to chronic neck pain. The patient with neck pain presents a number of factors that could constitute a predisposition of leading to a respiratory dysfunction: (a) the decreased strength of deep neck flexors and extensors, (b) the hyperactivity and increased fatigability of superficial neck flexors, (c) the limitation of range of motion, (d) the decrease in proprioception and disturbances in neuromuscular control, (e) the existence of pain and (f) the psychosocial influence of dysfunction. The possible connection of neck pain and respiratory function could have a great impact on various clinical aspects notably patient assessment, rehabilitation and pharmacological prescription.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / metabolism
  • Back Pain
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Neck
  • Neck Muscles / pathology*
  • Neck Pain / complications*
  • Neck Pain / therapy
  • Pain
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Respiration Disorders / complications*
  • Respiration Disorders / therapy
  • Respiration*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones