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Kinematic measures during a clinical diagnostic technique for human neck disorder: inter- and intraexaminer comparisons.

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Kinematic measures during a clinical diagnostic technique for human neck disorder: inter- and intraexaminer comparisons.

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:950719

Authors: Vorro J, Bush TR, Rutledge B, Li M

Abstract
Diagnoses of human musculoskeletal dysfunction of the cervical spine are indicated by palpable clues of a patient’s structural compliance/noncompliance as this body segment responds to diagnostic motion demands applied by a clinician. This process includes assessments of motion range, motion performance, and changes in tissue responses. However, biomechanical quantification of these diagnostic actions and their reproducible components is lacking. As a result, this study sought to use objective kinematic measures to capture aspects of the diagnostic process to compare inter- and intraexaminer motion behaviors when performing a specific clinical diagnostic protocol. Pain-free volunteers and a group determined to be symptomatic based on a psychometric pain score were examined by two clinicians while three-dimensional kinematic data were collected. Intraexaminer diagnostic motion ranges of cervical lateral flexion and secondary rotations were consistent for each examiner and for each subject group. However, interexaminer comparisons for motion range, secondary rotations, and average velocities yielded consistently larger measures for one examiner for both subject groups (P < 0.05). This research demonstrates that fundamental aspects of the clinical diagnostic process for human neck disorders can be identified and measured using kinematic parameters. Further, these objective data have the potential to be linked to clinical decision making.

PMID: 23509819 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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