Respiratory weakness in patients with chronic neck pain

Zacharias Dimitriadis, Eleni Kapreli, Nikolaos Strimpakos, Jacqueline Oldham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Respiratory muscle strength is one parameter that is currently proposed to be affected in patients with chronic neck pain. This study was aimed at examining whether patients with chronic neck pain have reduced respiratory strength and with which neck pain problems their respiratory strength is associated. In this controlled cross-sectional study, 45 patients with chronic neck pain and 45 healthy well-matched controls were recruited. Respiratory muscle strength was assessed through maximal mouth pressures. The subjects were additionally assessed for their pain intensity and disability, neck muscle strength, endurance of deep neck flexors, neck range of movement, forward head posture and psychological states. Paired t-tests showed that patients with chronic neck pain have reduced Maximal Inspiratory (MIP) (r = 0.35) and Maximal Expiratory Pressures (MEP) (r = 0.39) (P <0.05). Neck muscle strength (r > 0.5), kinesiophobia (r <-0.3) and catastrophizing (r <-0.3) were significantly associated with maximal mouth pressures (P <0.05), whereas MEP was additionally negatively correlated with neck pain and disability (r <-0.3, P <0.05). Neck muscle strength was the only predictor that remained as significant into the prediction models of MIP and MEP. It can be concluded that patients with chronic neck pain present weakness of their respiratory muscles. This weakness seems to be a result of the impaired global and local muscle system of neck pain patients, and psychological states also appear to have an additional contribution. Clinicians are advised to consider the respiratory system of patients with chronic neck pain during their usual assessment and appropriately address their treatment. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-253
    Number of pages5
    JournalManual Therapy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Chronic neck pain
    • Maximal expiratory pressure
    • Maximal inspiratory pressure
    • Respiration


    Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory weakness in patients with chronic neck pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this