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Chronic neck pain (completed)

Chronic neck pain is common and represents personal illness and great costs for society. The underlying mechanisms for a large fraction of these patients are unknown. Furthermore, a wide variety of treatments are used, but the effectiveness of the  treatments are still unclear.

Photo: Colourbox

About the project

In our project we examine how movement qualities and muscle activation patterns relate to chronic neck pain and disability. In a laboratory setting we investigate  how persons with and without neck pain move their head. We will also examine movements qualities and muscle activation patterns during a treatment program.


  • To determine whether qualities of head movement and muscle activation patterns differ between persons with and without chronic neck pain and disability
  • To examine the association of changes in movement qualities and perceived improvement of symptoms and disability through treatment provided in ordinary clinical practice


By the end of 2011 we expect the first papers to be published.


A basic tenet in the clinical examination of people with neck pain is to assess and map out motion of the cervical spine. There are some evidence that people with neck pain have a reduced range of motion and a more inaccurate repositioning than asymptomatic subjects. Persons with neck pain are shown to have both an altered muscle  activation  pattern during certain neck movements when compared to healthy controls. These findings support the common opinion amongst practitioners that humans with chronic neck pain show aberrant motor control during movement in the neck region when compared to healthy subjects. Their movements are often described as unsteady. Hence, jerk is an important quality of investigation.


  • Neck pain and functioning
  • Movement qualities for head and neck movement through a treatment course


  • EXTRA funds from the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation through The Norwegian Association of traffic injuries
  • Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
  • The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy


  • Oslo University Hospital, Dep of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Friskvernklinikken
  • NTNU, Dep. of Public Health and General Practice

Start - Finish

2006 - 2014

Published May 23, 2011 2:28 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2015 8:49 AM


Project leader

Professor Nina K. Vøllestad


Detailed list of participants