Laterality effects in sub-clinical neck pain examined in goal-directed upper limb aiming movements
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Subclinical neck pain (SCNP) is defined as recurrent pain and stiffness in the neck for which individuals have not yet sought treatment. Prior studies have shown that individuals with SCNP have altered cerebellar processing. The cerebellum plays a vital role in upper limb reaching movements through the formation of internal models and integration of sensorimotor information. Prior studies have suggested that SCNP individuals exhibit an altered body schema (internal body map). Reaching movements are performed daily, thus presenting a need to investigate the impact of SCNP on upper limb goal-directed movements. Two paradigms were designed to assess upper limb movement, one study in the horizontal plane and the other in the vertical plane. Analysis of kinematic variables revealed SCNP participants as being more effective at using feedback processing demonstrated through further distance travelled in the primary movement, possibly as a means to compensate for altered body schema.