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  • 1.
    Hallman, David
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Heiden, Marina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Birk Jørgensen, Marie
    Holtermann, Andreas
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hellström, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Rönnlund Borg, Tina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Sommar, Johan
    Wahlström, Jens
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Symposium: Arbete, individ och nacksmärta: Forskning vid Forte-centret “Kroppen i arbete – från problem till potential”2018In: FALF KONFERENS 2018 Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö? 10-12 juni 2018 i Gävle: Program och Abstracts / [ed] Per Lindberg, Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2018, p. 102-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Besvär ifrån kroppens muskler och leder såsom nack- och ryggbesvär är fortfarande ett stort problem inom arbetslivet. Muskuloskeletal diagnos är den vanligaste orsaken till lång sjukfrånvaro inom privat sektor och näst vanligast inom kommuner och landsting. Orsakerna till dessa besvär kan vara relaterade till exponering både under arbete och på fritid, men även till individfaktorer. Vår forskargrupp har en bred ansats för att fylla kunskapsluckor inom detta område och kommer att presentera resultat från flera forskningsprojekt i symposiet Arbete, individ och nacksmärta.

    Långvarigt sittande har blivit alltmer vanligt förekommande i många yrkesgrupper. Långvarigt sittande och låg fysisk aktivitet har också uppmärksammats som ett betydande hälsoproblem i dagens arbetsliv och även som en möjlig riskfaktor för smärta i nacke-skuldra. Men forskningen om betydelsen av långvarigt sittande för smärta i nacke-skuldra är fortfarande begränsad. Likaså är det oklart om huvudets hållning vid sittandet och nackens funktion, exempelvis nackens rörelsefunktion och styrka, har betydelse för besvärsutveckling. Statiskt arbete med nacken i vridna och böjda positioner misstänks vara en riskfaktor för nack-skuldersmärta i yrken såsom tandläkare, men det är oklart varför vissa exponerade individer drabbas medan andra inte får ont. För de med långvarig smärta krävs ofta rehabiliterande åtgärder, och hur väl dessa åtgärder lyckas kan även det vara beroende av individens fysiska och psykosociala arbetsmiljö. Individens arbetsmiljö påverkar således inte bara risken för om man får besvär utan kan också ha betydelse för hur rehabiliteringen av besvären lyckas.

    Syftet med detta symposium är att presentera studier från Centrum för belastningsskadeforskning som handlar om nacksmärta i arbetslivet, sammanfatta kunskapsläget inom området och diskutera hur arbetet kan utformas för att bli hållbart och inkluderande. De forskningsexempel som presenteras berör stillasittande och hållning i arbetslivet och dess tänkbara konsekvenser för nacksmärta och hälsa, riskfaktorer för nacksmärta i tandläkaryrket och arbetsmiljöns betydelse för resultatet av rehabilitering vid nacksmärta. Symposiet avslutas med en frågestund och gemensam diskussion.

  • 2.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Umeå universitet, Sjukgymnastik.
    Sensorimotor control and cervical range of motion in women with chronic neck pain: Kinematic assessments and effects of neck coordination exercise2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Neck pain is a common problem in society and is more prevalent among women. The consequences of neck pain for the individual often include activity and participation limitations, thus affecting many dimensions of life. There is still a lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the disorder and likewise of efficient rehabilitation for people with neck pain. However, coordination exercises have shown promising short-term effects. To carry this line of research forward, there is a need to improve methods for objective characterization of impairments and to investigate novel methods of rehabilitation.

    Aims: To characterize impairments of active cervical range of motion of the upper and lower cervical levels in women with chronic neck pain with a novel method (Study I and II) and identify the influence of head posture and movement strategies (Study II). Further, to investigate the effects of a novel method for neck coordination exercise on sensorimotor function and neck pain (study III) and the consistencies of motor variability metrics in a goal directed arm movement task to aid the design of future clinical research (Study IV).

    Methods: All studies were laboratory based with kinematic assessments of neck movements (Study I-III), balance (Study III) and goal directed arm movements (Study III, IV). The studies had designs that were: cross-sectional (I and II), randomized controlled trial (III) or test-retest reliability study (IV). Participants in Study I (n=135) and II (n=160) were women with chronic non-specific neck pain and healthy controls. In Study III, women with chronic non-specific neck pain (n=108) were randomized into three different individually supervised 11 week interventions. Study IV included healthy women (n=14).

    Results: It was found that cervical range of motion impairments in women with non-specific neck pain were direction- and level-specific; impairments were greater in extension in the upper and flexion in the lower levels of the cervical spine. The magnitude of impairments in range of motion was associated to self-ratings of functioning and health. Possible group differences in natural head posture were rejected as a cause for the direction specific effects. Neither could the effects be explained by a strategy to minimize torque in the cervical spine during movement execution. The neck coordination training was not superior to strength training (best-available) and massage treatment (sham) in improving sensorimotor functions or pain according to short-term and 6 months follow ups. The results from the study of the goal directed movement task showed that between and within-subject sizes of most motor variability metrics were too large to make the test suitable for application in clinical research.

    Conclusions: Women with chronic non-specific neck pain have direction- and level-specific impairments in cervical sagittal range of motion. The underlying causes of these specific impairments remains unresolved, but the direction specific impairments are not related to natural head posture. The clinical validity of the method of characterization of cervical range of motion was supported and it can be useful in future clinical research. The novel method of neck coordination exercise showed no advantages on sensorimotor functions or pain compared with best-available treatment in women with chronic non-specific neck pain.

  • 3.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Range of motion in the upper and lower cervical spine in people with chronic neck pain2012In: Manual Therapy, ISSN 1356-689X, E-ISSN 1532-2769, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 53-59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reduced cervical range of motion (ROM) is a common finding in people with neck pain. With few exceptions, only the angle between head and thorax has been measured. Our aim was to use an extended model to compare active cervical flexion and extension, separate for upper and lower cervical levels, between people with chronic non-traumatic neck pain and controls. We also investigated associations between ROM measures, symptoms and self-rated functioning. In this cross-sectional study, 102 subjects with neck pain and 33 healthy controls participated. An electromagnetic tracker system was used to measure the kinematics to construct a three-segment model including the thorax, cervical spine and head. Neutral flexion/extension were defined at subjects’ self-selected seated posture. We found that in the neck pain group, extension in the upper cervical levels and predominately flexion for the lower levels were reduced. The ratio between ROM for the upper and lower levels was altered in the neck pain group so that the lower levels contributed to a lesser extent to the total sagittal ROM compared to controls. These findings could not be explained by a greater forward head posture but must have other origins. For the neck pain group, ROM measures were weakly associated to pain and self-rated functioning. Altogether, this implies that using a three-segment model for assessment of ROM can be a valuable improvement for characterisation of patients and treatment evaluation.

  • 4.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, CBF. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Range of motion in the upper and lower cervical spine in people with chronic neck pain2010In: The XVIII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK), Aalborg, Denmark, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AIM: Several studies have reported reduced cervical range of motion (ROM) in people with neck pain. Different methodologies have been used, but with a few exception they measure only head-trunk relationship and do not discriminate between upper and lower cervical motion. Recent strategies for treatment of neck pain condition include retraining the function of the deep cervical flexors that act in cranio-cervical movements. Thus objective measures of cervical ROM in flexion-extension that includes determination of cervical level can be valuable for treatment evaluation.

    The aim of the present study was to compare cervical flexion and extension, separate for upper and lower cervical levels, between people with chronic neck pain and controls. Also, the association between upper and lower cervical ROM and self rated characteristics was studied.

    METHODS: In a cross-sectional study design, 135 subjects (non-traumatic neck pain: n = 102, controls: n = 33) performed three trials of maximum active cervical flexion and extension. Subjects were seated in a chair with belts crossed over the chest. An electromagnetic tracker system was used to register the kinematics to construct a three-segment model including the trunk, cervical spine and head. The angle for the upper cervical level was defined as the angle between the head and the cervical spine segments. The angle for the lower cervical level was defined as the angle between the cervical spine and the trunk segments. Pressure pain thresholds, pain ratings as well as self ratings of functioning and physical activity were assessed.

    RESULTS: Total ROM was reduced in the neck pain group for both the lower (controls: mean = 26.5, SD=6.7, neck pain: mean=19.0, SD =6.5 degrees) and the upper cervical levels (controls: mean = 84.7, SD = 7.9, neck pain: mean = 73.0, SD = 11.2 degrees). This reduction was direction specific: in the upper cervical level only extension was reduced and in the lower cervical level the reduction was predominately in flexion. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that lower level of physical activity, greater impairments of physical functioning, self reported problems with head movements and lower pressure pain thresholds were related to a greater reduction in ROM in the neck pain group.

    CONCLUSION: Reduction of ROM is present for both the upper and lower levels of the cervical spine in people with non-traumatic neck pain. For the upper cervical level this reduction is direction specific so that only extension is reduced. The limited extension range of the upper cervical spine in the neck pain group could reflect a habituated sitting posture that includes a more extended upper cervical spine. Alternatively it could reflect an impaired functioning of the deep cervical flexors. For the lower cervical level the reduction was mainly limited to flexion. This could be a reflection of a ‘head forward posture’ that has previously been reported in people with neck pain. The associations between self rated characteristics and range of motion variables supports the validity of this methodology in research on neck pain conditions.

  • 5.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Svedmark, Åsa
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Direction-specific impairments in cervical range of motion in women with chronic neck pain: influence of head posture and gravitationally induced torque2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 1, article id e0170274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Cervical range of motion (ROM) is commonly assessed in clinical practice and research. In a previous study we decomposed active cervical sagittal ROM into contributions from lower and upper levels of the cervical spine and found level- and direction-specific impairments in women with chronic non-specific neck pain. The present study aimed to validate these results and investigate if the specific impairments can be explained by the neutral posture (defining zero flexion/extension) or a movement strategy to avoid large gravitationally induced torques on the cervical spine.

    Methods: Kinematics of the head and thorax was assessed in sitting during maximal sagittal cervical flexion/extension (high torque condition) and maximal protraction (low torque condition) in 120 women with chronic non-specific neck pain and 40 controls. We derived the lower and upper cervical angles, and the head centre of mass (HCM), from a 3-segment kinematic model. Neutral head posture was assessed using a standardized procedure.

    Findings: Previous findings of level- and direction-specific impairments in neck pain were confirmed. Neutral head posture was equal between groups and did not explain the direction-specific impairments. The relative magnitude of group difference in HCM migration did not differ between high and low torques conditions, lending no support for our hypothesis that impairments in sagittal ROM are due to torque avoidance behaviour.

    Interpretation: The direction- and level-specific impairments in cervical sagittal ROM can be generalised to the population of women with non-specific neck pain. Further research is necessary to clarify if torque avoidance behaviour can explain the impairments.

  • 6.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Umeå universitet.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Häger, Charlotte
    Umeå universitet.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Umeå universitet, Alfta Research Foundation.
    Effects of neck coordination exercise on sensorimotor function in chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled trial2014In: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, ISSN 1650-1977, E-ISSN 1651-2081, Vol. 46, no 9, p. 908-914Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To evaluate the effect of neck coordination exercise on sensorimotor function in women with neck pain compared with best-available treatment and sham treatment. Design: Observer-blinded randomized controlled trial with short-term and 6-month follow-ups. Subjects: Women with chronic non-specific neck pain were randomized to 3 groups: neck coordinationexercise with a novel training device; strength training for the neck and shoulders; or massage. Each group had 36 participants. Methods: The intervention period was 11 weeks with 22 individually supervised sessions. Primary outcomes were postural sway measures and precision of goal-directed arm movements. Secondary outcomes were range of motion for the neck, peak speed of axial rotation, and neck pain. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted separately on the primary outcomes for the short-term and 6-month evaluations and on the sensorimotor secondary outcomes for the 6-month effect. The 6-month effect on pain was analysed with a repeated measures analysis ofvariance (ANOVA). Results: No significant treatment effects in favour of neck coordination exercise were found for short-term or 6-month evaluations. Conclusion: Neck coordination exercise is no better than strength training and massage in improvingsensorimotor function. Further research should investigate the use of cutoffs for sensorimotordysfunctions prior to proprioceptive or coordinative training.

  • 7.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Domkin, Dmitry
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björklund, Martin
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Djupsjöbacka, Mats
    University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Is neck pain associated with altered body sway kinematics?2009In: Sjukgymnastdagarna, Stockholmsmässan i Älvsjö, Stockholm: Legitimerade Sjukgymnasters Riksförbund, Stockholm , 2009, p. -40Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction:Several studies have reported impaired postural control in people with neck pain. Many of these studies have analysed centre of pressure data from a force plate in quiet standing but to our knowledge none has investigated the kinematics of postural sway in people with neck pain. From studies on healthy controls there are two well established strategies of maintaining upright stance: hip and ankle strategies. Recent work has shown that these co-exist simultaneously. The purpose of this study is to investigate these kinematic strategies in people with neck pain. This could give a greater understanding of the mechanisms behind the postural control impairments and give implications for specific rehabilitation interventions.Methods:Seventy subjects (neck pain n=44, controls n=26) stood with their feet together, arms crossed and their eyes closed for 180 s. An electromagnetic tracker was used to record the kinematics for a two segment model (leg, trunk). An in-phase pattern between these segments corresponds to ankle strategy and an anti-phase pattern to hip-strategy. The strength of the in-phase pattern was quantified using coherence analysis.Results:Preliminary results indicate that people with neck pain rely less on ankle strategy in quiet standing than healthy controls. There were no differences in variability of the segment angles between groups. However people with neck pain tended to stand with a greater degree of extension in the hip.Conclusion:It’s generally considered that hip-strategy is used more when the difficulty of the task is higher. One speculative interpretation to the weaker ankle strategy in the neck pain group is that they perceived the task as more demanding. The method of coherence analysis used in this study can be a valuable tool in future studies for understanding postural sway in people with spinal pain.

  • 8.
    Srinivasan, Divya
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Between- and within-subject variance of motor variability metrics in females performing repetitive upper-extremity precision work2015In: Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology, ISSN 1050-6411, E-ISSN 1873-5711, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 121-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Kinematic motor variability is extensively studied in occupational, clinical and sports biomechanics, but the consistency of most motor variability metrics have never been reported. In this study, fourteen subjects performed a repetitive pipetting task on three separate days. Movements of hand, arm and pipette tip were recorded in 3D and used to compute shoulder elevation, elbow flexion and shoulder-arm coordination angles, as well as pipette-tip endpoint precision. Cycle-to-cycle motor variability was quantified using linear dispersion measures of standard kinematics properties such as peak velocity, range of motion, and inter-segmental relative phase. Between- and within-subject consistencies of these variability metrics were quantified by variance components estimated using a nested random effects model. For most metrics, the variance between subjects was larger than that between days and cycles. Entering the variance components in statistical power equations showed that for most metrics, a total of 80-100 subjects will be required to detect a 20% difference between two groups with sufficient power, while this difference can typically be detected  in repeated-measures (paired) designs using 25 subjects. The reported between- and within-subject variance components can be used as a data base to facilitate efficient designs of future studies of kinematic motor variability.

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