Patients with non-specific neck disorders commonly report upper limb disability.
Upper limb activities can aggravate neck pain in the absence of arm symptoms. A variety of mechanisms may account for this occurrence, including mechanical loading. Cervical segments move when the upper limb is loaded and loads placed through the upper limb transmit to cervical structures via axio-scapular muscles, such as levator scapulae and upper trapezius.
The results of this community-based study add further evidence that upper limb function is often affected in association with neck pain disorders. Approximately 80% of patients reported that upper limb activities aggravated their neck pain and there was a moderate to high correlation between the degree of upper limb disability (DASH) and the magnitude of neck pain and disability (NDI). These results suggest that clinicians should routinely question patients regarding upper limb function and ensure that management addresses these provocative factors and functional limitations. The DASH could be used as a suitable outcome measure in its current or possibly a modiﬁed form > from Osborn et al.; Manual Therapy 18 (2013) 492-497. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.
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