Neck pain is a frequent and disabling complaint in the general population, and joint position sense (JPS) is an important function of the nervous system, recognizing the location of joints in space, and an essential element in the maintenance of balance or kinesthetic sense
Joint position sense is the ability to be aware and move your limbs without looking at them. Patients who have encountered trauma to the neck often experience impaired joint position sense in the neck and upper limbs.
This may limit the ability of the joint to move fluidly with speed and accuracy. Poor joint position sense in neck pain patients has also been linked with symptoms of dizziness. Earlier research has shown that neck adjustments, commonly used by chiropractors, can improve elbow joint position sense.
A study with 30 patients divided into two groups with the one group receiving cervical joint manipulation therapy and massage and the other group only receiving massage. The group that received joint manipulation exhibited statistically significant changes in flexion, extension, left lateral flexion, right lateral flexion, left rotation, and right rotation. On the other hand, the group that only received massage showed no significant changes.
The researchers suggested that massage had the capacity to improve joint position sense, but that the combined treatment of neck adjustments and massage was the most effective for increasing range of motion. They concluded by recommending that cervical joint manipulation and massage should be used in combination when treating patients with reduced joint position sense due to decrease range of motion, neck pain, or whiplash.
Our chiropractors use both chiropractic and physical therapy modalities, massage or acupuncture to complement the individualized treatment of patients with neck pain. Call us to book an appointment, or book your appointment online