Cervical Muscles, MRI, Whiplash & Fatty Infiltrations!
Reference:Elliott JM, O’Leary S, Sterling M, Hendrikz J, Pedler A, Jull G. Magnetic resonance imaging findings of fatty infiltrate in the cervical flexors in chronic whiplash. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Apr 20;35(9):948-54.
There are now dozens of studies indicating the loss of the deep cervical flexor (DCF) muscles in patients with acute and chronic neck pain.
This study used MRI to investigate muscular size and relative fat content difference in individuals suffering from chronic WAD and compared the results to a matched control group… and what did they uncover?
Result #1: The WAD subjects had significantly greater fatty infiltrations in the DCF muscles, (i.e. longus capitis/colli muscles), when compared to healthy controls (P < 0.0001).
Result #2: The longus capitis/colli had the largest amount of fatty infiltrates at the C2-C3 level (P < 0.0001).
Result #3: The amount of fatty infiltration was directly proportional to duration of symptoms.
Clinical Relevance: Retraining the anterior cervical muscles in individuals with persistent posttraumatic neck pain seems to be essential and there are no shortage of studies to support this!
Posted on: July 02, 2010
Categories: Cervical Spine