Cervical kinematics in patients with vestibular pathology vs. patients with neck pain: A pilot study

Grace Williams, Hilla Sarig-Bahat, Katrina Williams, Ryan Tyrrell, Julia Treleaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Research has consistently shown cervical kinematic impairments in subjects with persistent neck pain (NP). It could be reasoned that those with vestibular pathology (VP) may also have altered kinematics since vestibular stimulation via head movement can cause dizziness and visual disturbances. However, this has not been examined to date. This pilot study investigated changes in cervical kinematics between asymptomatic control, NP and VP subjects using a Virtual Reality (VR) system. It was hypothesised that there would be altered kinematics in VP subjects, which might be associated with dizziness and visual symptoms. DESIGN: Pilot cross sectional observational study. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty control, 14 VP and 20 NP subjects. INTERVENTION: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Measures included questionnaires (neck disability index, pain on movement, dizziness and pain intensity, visual disturbances) and cervical kinematics (range, peak and mean velocity, smoothness, symmetry, and accuracy of cervical motion) using a virtual reality system. RESULTS: Results revealed significantly decreased mean velocity and symmetry of motion in both planes in those with NP but no differences in accuracy or range of motion. No significant differences were seen between VP subjects and asymptomatic controls. However, correlation analysis showed some moderate correlations between dizziness to selected kinematics in both the NP and the VP groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results support that cervical kinematics are altered in NP patients, with velocity most affected. There is potential for VP subjects to also have altered kinematics, especially those who experience dizziness. More research is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Kinematics
  • neck pain
  • vestibular
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Neuroscience
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cervical kinematics in patients with vestibular pathology vs. patients with neck pain: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this