Background: Neck pain is one of the largest health problems in the military sector.
Objective: To assess differences in the strength and endurance of the cervical muscles between military personnel with chronic nonspecific neck pain (CNSNP) with higher level of kinesiophobia (CNSNP-K) and individuals with lower levels of kinesiophobia (CNSNP-NK).
Methods: We used kinesiophobia as a classification method: (1) CNSNP-K and (2) CNSNP-NK. The variables measured were endurance and strength of cervical muscles; range of motion (ROM), disability, pain intensity and psychological factors.
Results: Eighty-three military personnel (26 CNSNP-K; 20 CNSNP-NK and 37 asymptomatic). Statistically significant differences in endurance and ROM were only found between the CNSNP-K group and the control group. In strength and disability differences were revealed between both symptomatic groups and the control group [CNSNP-K vs. control (flex-ext p < 0.001); CNSNP-NK vs. control (flex p = 0.003) and (ext p < 0.001)]. For psychological variables, the CNSNP-K group showed differences compared with the CNSNP-NK (pain catastrophizing, p = 0.007; anxiety and depression, p < 0.001) and with the asymptomatic group (pain catastrophizing, p = 0.008; anxiety and depression, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Military personnel with CNSNP-K have functional limitations and associated psychosocial factors compared with asymptomatic subjects, and showed greater associated psychological factors than CNSNP-NK group. Military personnel with CNSNP-NK only showed decreased strength with respect to those who were asymptomatic.
Keywords: Physical endurance; muscle strength; range of motion and psychosocial factors.