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Investigation of the relationship between pain threshold and joint position sense in the cervical region

Ceyhun Turkmen, Nezire Kose, Hatice Cetin, Esra Dulger, Sevil Bilgin.


This study was performed to investigate whether there is a relationship between cervical region pain threshold and joint position sense (JPS) in healthy subjects. The subjects were 38 healthy volunteers in the Hacettepe University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Department. Pain thresholds in the right and left cervical paravertebral regions of participants were assessed with a digital algometer (Wagner Instruments, Greenwich, USA). The JPS of the cervical region was assessed with the Cervical Range of Motion 3 (CROM 3) device. While the pain thresholds in the left and right cervical paravertebral regions increased, the JPS error levels in the cervical region of the extension direction decreased (right and left cervical paravertebral region p = 0.003 and r = -0.475, p = 0.020 and r = -0.377, respectively). At the end of this study, the position sense error was higher in the participants with a low pain threshold. In participants in which the pain threshold is lower, prematurely stimulated pain receptors can decrease JPS by causing suppression of proprioceptive receptors. JPS should be assessed in individuals who define pain in the neck region. According to the result of this study, it is necessary to improve JPS in patients with neck pain, or healthy individuals who have lower pain threshold may be able to avoid neck pain when they receive appropriate proprioceptive training to improve their JPS. In conclusion, when healthy individuals were included in proprioceptive training, it was observed that neck pain could be prevented in the early period.

Key words: Joint position sense, pain threshold, cervical region

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