Reduced mobility in the cervico-thoracic motion segment--a risk factor for musculoskeletal neck-shoulder pain: a two-year prospective follow-up study

Scand J Rehabil Med. 1997 Sep;29(3):167-74.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the variations in C7-T1 mobility in order to decide whether inverse C7-T1 function, defined as equal or less mobility in motion segment C7-T1 compared with T1-T2, could be used for prediction of neck-shoulder pain (NSP). One hundred and sixty-one female laundry workers participated in a prospective two-year follow-up study which included a self-report questionnaire and clinical examinations. The present study showed that the incidence of inverse C7-T1 function was 33% per year and subjects classified as having an inverse C7-T1 function three or more times during the follow-up period had an elevated risk of NSP (RR 3.1, CI 95% 1.1-6.9). According to the authors' interpretation, lack of synchronous mobility distribution between adjacent motion segments might be a provoking factor. Inverse C7-T1 function predicts NSP related to the cervico-thoracic articulations and yields a positive predictive value of 84%. Assessments must be repeated, however.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laundering*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / physiology*