Background Nowadays the cervicalgia is one of the main disabling problems affecting high numbers of the population. In addition to being one of the most important factors for work absenteeism, it is a factor for loss of work productivity.
The main purpose is to compare the results obtained through Tensiomyography (TMG), Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI) and the Neck Disability Index (NDI) in order to diagnose patients with chronic cervicalgia and see which of the three methods is the most valid. As secondary purposes: to verify which of these two methods, TMG or RUSI, classifies best the patients into groups; to evaluate the differences among the data measured by the TMG and RUSI of both trapezius muscles and both groups.
Methods This is a pilot study carried out with 16 subjects aged between 21 and 23 years, college students with no previous cervical injury, who were given a questionnaire (NDI) in order to distribute the subjects into two groups: healthy and cervicalgia. After having given them the questionnaire, both their trapezius muscles were measured in different rooms, both through the TMG and the RUSI method and implementing the same protocol: in the first place was measured the right trapezius muscle, and in the second place the left one.
Results In the ANOVA analysis of a factor, the results show that, among the data provided by the RUSI method, there are no significant differences (p>0,05), except from the variables C6i and T1i (p<0.05). In the TMG there are no significant differences among the data (p>0.05). After a binomial logistic regression, for the RUSI and TMG, p value are p>0,05, which implies that the result is not significant from a statistical point of view. On the contrary, the NDI has a value p<0,05, which means that it is significant from a statistical point of view and could be extrapolated to a population level.
Conclusions There are significant differences between the right and the left muscles for the measures C6i and T1i of the RUSI method, which probable cause could be a structural change in the high and medium levels of the trapezius muscle of the subjects with cervicalgia.
In the case of the classification of subjects into healthy or cervicalgia, with TMG and RUSI, the one that offered the best result was the RUSI method; on the contrary, when comparing the p-value, the TMG is statistically more significant. The NDI has been the best method for the classification and diagnosis of the chronic cervicalgia.
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