Impaired neck muscle function leads to disability in individuals with chronic whiplash-associated disorder (WAD), but diagnostic tools are lacking. In this study, deformations and deformation rates were investigated in five dorsal neck muscles during 10 arm elevations by ultrasonography with speckle tracking analyses. Forty individuals with chronic WAD (28 women and 12 men, mean age = 37 y) and 40 healthy controls matched for age and sex were included. The WAD group had higher deformation rates in the multifidus muscle during the first (p < 0.04) and 10th (only women, p < 0.01) arm elevations compared with the control group. Linear relationships between the neck muscles for deformation rate (controls: R-2 = 0.24-0.82, WAD: R-2 = 0.05-0.74) and deformation of the deepest muscles (controls: R-2 = 0.61-0.32, WAD: R-2 = 0.15-0.01) were stronger for women in the control group versus women with WAD, indicating there is altered interplay between dorsal neck muscles in chronic WAD. (C) 2016 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.
Funding Agencies|Swedish government; Swedish Social Insurance Agency through the REHSAM Foundation [RS2010/009]; Swedish Research Council; Centre for Clinical Research Sormland at Uppsala University Sweden; Uppsala-Orebro Regional Research Council Sweden