The clinical examination of neck pain patients. The validity of a group of tests

Willem De Hertogh, Peter Vaes, Veerle Vijverman, Ann De Cordt, William Duquet

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44 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated whether a blinded observer could identify the neck pain patients in a sample of 42 subjects consisting of neck pain patients and asymptomatic controls.
The allocation of subjects to either the control or patient group was based on the scoring of a VAS scale for pain intensity, a Bournemouth Questionnaire (BQ), a manual examination of the rotation of C0-2-7 (rated for Range Of Motion, end feel, onset of pain), an adapted Spurling test and Cervical Range Of Motion (CROM) measurements.
The VAS and BQ resulted in a high % of correct allocations (>= 77.5%) and a high specificity (90.9%). The Manual Examination Procedures (MEPs) have similar results especially when clustered. The combination of the VAS score, BQ and MEN resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 86.4%, respectively. Except for the flexion movement all CROM allocation percentages are around 50%, indicating a lesser diagnostic value.
Our findings reinforce the validity of MEPs. Clustering pain measurements, BQ and MEN provides the highest diagnostic value to identify neck pain patients or necks in need of treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Manual Therapy
In press


  • neck pain
  • diagnosis
  • sensitivity
  • specificity


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