Clinical features of patients with chronic non-specific neck pain per disability level: A novel observational study

Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2018 Aug;64(8):700-709. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.64.08.700.


Background: To date, there are no cross-sectional studies considering the influence of disability level in patients with non-specific chronic neck pain. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to determine kinesiophobia, active cervical range of movement (CROM), and pressure pain threshold (PPT) differences between different disability levels (mild, moderate, and severe) in subjects with non-specific chronic neck pain and asymptomatic subjects.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study. Subjects were recruited from a primary health care center and an outpatient department hospital. A total sample of 128 subjects, 96 of them with nonspecific chronic neck pain and 32 asymptomatic, were recruited. The NDI was used to divide the subjects with chronic neck pain into 3 groups (mild, moderate, and severe disability). The main outcome measurement was the Tampa Scale of kinesiophobia (TSK-11). The secondary outcome measurements were the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), PPT (trapezius and tibialis anterior), CROM (flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral inclination) and pain duration.

Results: The ANOVA results revealed, in the comparisons between groups, statistically significant differences for the VAS between the mild-severe (P < 0.01) and moderate-severe groups (P < 0.01), but not between the mild-moderate groups (P > 0.05); for the TSK, differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Kinesiophobia may not be influenced by disability level in patients with chronic non-specific neck pain. Nevertheless, pain intensity and chronicity of patients with severe neck disability are increased with respect to mild and moderate disability index.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Threshold
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Analog Scale