Introduction: Patients with chronic neck pain present respiratory dysfunction. However, there is no information regarding the difference between their respiratory function and the respiratory function of patients with chronic non-spinal pain.
Purpose: A comparative study of the respiratory function between patients with chronic non-spinal pain and patients with chronic neck pain and healthy individuals.
Materials and Methods: The respiratory function of 10 patients with chronic non-spinal pain was assessed with a mouth pressure meter, transcutaneous blood gas monitoring and spirometry. Their values were compared with the corresponding values of 45 patients with chronic neck pain and 45 healthy individuals. Comparisons were performed with ANCOVAs by controlling for the potential confounding influence of gender, age, height and weight.
Results: Patients with chronic non-spinal pain had significantly reduced maximal expiratory pressure in comparison with the control group (p<0.05). No other significant differences were observed in comparison with the other groups (p>0.05). Based on adjusted means, respiratory indices such as maximal inspiratory pressure and maximum voluntary ventilation were found to be different between the groups.
Conclusions: The observed differences in respiratory function between the patients with chronic non-spinal pain and the other two groups reveal that the respiratory dysfunction may be due to both biopsychological and biomechanical/sensorimotor causes which may differ for each index of respiratory function. However, these pilot findings should be further investigated in a bigger sample for the extrapolation of more valid conclusions.