Function in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy or Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders Compared With Healthy Volunteers


Function in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy or Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders  Compared With Healthy Volunteers

Anneli Peolsson, PhD, Maria Landén Ludvigsson, MSc, PT, Johanna Wibault, MSc, PT, Åsa Dedering, PhD, PT, Gunnel Peterson, MSc, PT

Anneli Peolsson, Associate Professor, PhD, PT,
Department of Medical and Health Sciences,
Physiotherapy, Hälsans hus plan 12, Campus US,
Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden

Objective   The purposes of this study were to examine whether any differences in function and health exist between patients with cervical radiculopathy (CR) due to disk disease scheduled for surgery and patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) and to compare measures of patients’ physical function with those obtained from healthy volunteers.

Methods   This is a cross-sectional study of patients with CR (n = 198) and patients with chronic WAD (n = 215). Patient data were compared with raw data previously obtained from healthy people. Physical measures included cervical active range of motion, neck muscle endurance, and hand grip strength. Self-rated measures included pain intensity (visual analog scale), neck disability (Neck Disability Index), self-efficacy (Self-Efficacy Scale), and health-related quality of life (EuroQol 5-dimensional self-classifier).

Results   Patient groups exhibited significantly lower performance than the healthy group in all physical measures (P < .0005) except for neck muscle endurance in flexion for women (P > .09). There was a general trend toward worse results in the CR group than the WAD group, with significant differences in neck active range of motion, left hand strength for women, pain intensity, Neck Disability Index, EuroQol 5-dimensional self-classifier, and Self-Efficacy Scale (P < .0001).

Conclusions   Patients had worse values than healthy individuals in almost all physical measures. There was a trend toward worse results for CR than WAD patients.