Cervical motion testing: methodology and clinical implications

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008 Sep;31(7):503-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.08.004.


Background: Measurement of cervical motion (CM) is probably the most commonly applied functional outcome measure in assessing the status of patients with cervical pathology. In general terms, CM refers to motion of the head relative to the trunk as well as conjunct motions within the cervical spine.

Special features: Multiple techniques and instruments have been used for assessing CM. These were associated with a wide variety of parameters relating to accuracy, reproducibility, and validity. Modern measurement systems enable recording, processing, and documentation of CM with a high degree of precision.

Summary: Cervical motion measures provide substantial information regarding the severity of motion limitation and level of effort in cervically involved patients. They may also be used for following up performance during and after conservative or invasive interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / physiopathology*