Author(s): Justin Marcotte, Martin C Normand, Pierre Black
To measure the pressure applied during motion palpation for cervical spine rotation and to verify its effect on reliability when the kinematics of the test are standardized.
Methods: The pressure of palpation used during the test of cervical spine rotation was measured by means of flexible and extra-fine pressure sensors linked to an electronic interface. Seven pressure measurements (left rotation from C1 to C7) for each of 24 examiners were taken. In addition, the examiners were asked to detect the presence of intervertebral fixation while palpating.
Results: Pressure of palpation varied from 4.0 to 41.0 N/cm2 among the examiners. Standardization of the kinematics of the test establishes a strong reliability of identifying a fixation (κ varying from 0.701 to 0.748). Conclusions: The pressure applied during motion palpation for cervical spine rotation is light to moderate. It can vary tenfold (4-41 N/cm2) and remain reliable for identifying a fixation as long as the kinematics of the test are standardized.