Head Repositioning Accuracy

What if you had an accurate test that could be used to evaluate the neurological function of the cervical spine? ¬† Now you do…

Research has suggested that patients with whiplash injuries, and / or chronic neck pain have disturbances in their joint position sense (proprioception).

This has been demonstrated using a technique which has now become known as Head Repositioning Accuracy (HRA). HRA is typically measured by placing a helmet on a blindfolded patient, with an attached laser pointer. Attached to a wall, opposing the patient, is a target similar to a dart board.

The patient is instructed to either rotate, extend or flex the head to the end of their active range of motion, thereafter attempting to return to the starting point. The laser marks the return point, which is typically plotted out/measured by hand by the tester. This process is then repeated multiple times to determine the overall cervical joint position sense of the patient.

The above approach to measuring HRA, while accurate, is rather cumbersome and extremely time consuming, making it unrealistic for the clinical setting. This is why we, at Speedy Assessment, have developed a new technique for measuring HRA!

We have streamlined the HRA test so that it can be performed quickly and easily in a clincal setting! All you need to perform the test is a headband, and a webcamera. The test is performed in the same manner described above. The difference being that no helmet is required, the patient is instructed by the computer, and that the movements of the patient are recorded automatically by the program. Nothing needs to be recorded by hand.

Research suggests that patients with disturbances in proprioception have greater difficulty ‘finding the center’, exhibiting a larger spread on the scatterplot created during the measurements.

This test requiers an iPhone with the iSensor application: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/isensor/id353118286?mt=8

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