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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 1590161, 20 pages
Review Article

Cervical Spine Involvement in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review

1Department of Human Kinetics, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7
2Research Group on Neuromusculoskeletal Dysfunctions (GRAN), UQTR, Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada G9A 5H7
3Cortex Médecine et Réadaptation Concussion Clinic, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1W 0C5
4Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
5Research Center in Neuropsychology and Cognition (CERNEC), Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7

Received 1 March 2016; Revised 30 May 2016; Accepted 19 June 2016

Academic Editor: S. John Sullivan

Copyright © 2016 Michael Morin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. There is a lack of scientific evidence in the literature on the involvement of the cervical spine in mTBI; however, its involvement is clinically accepted. Objective. This paper reviews evidence for the involvement of the cervical spine in mTBI symptoms, the mechanisms of injury, and the efficacy of therapy for cervical spine with concussion-related symptoms. Methods. A keyword search was conducted on PubMed, ICL, SportDiscus, PEDro, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library databases for articles published since 1990. The reference lists of articles meeting the criteria (original data articles, literature reviews, and clinical guidelines) were also searched in the same databases. Results. 4,854 records were screened and 43 articles were retained. Those articles were used to describe different subjects such as mTBI’s signs and symptoms, mechanisms of injury, and treatments of the cervical spine. Conclusions. The hypothesis of cervical spine involvement in post-mTBI symptoms and in PCS (postconcussion syndrome) is supported by increasing evidence and is widely accepted clinically. For the management and treatment of mTBIs, few articles were available in the literature, and relevant studies showed interesting results about manual therapy and exercises as efficient tools for health care practitioners.