Methods: A total of 15 subjects were selected for investigation at random. An initial seated lateral cervical radiograph was taken to evaluate forward head posture and the amount of cervical lordosis. A series of 3 manipulative procedures were performed, followed immediately by introduction of an anterior headweight device. This headweight device was worn for 5 minutes while walking on a treadmill. A post intervention seated lateral cervical radiograph was taken while each subject wore the headweight. Measurements of cervical lordosis and forward head posture were again quantified and compared to the initial radiographs.
Results: The average overall decrease in forward head posture among all subjects was 0.83 inches. The largest reduction in forward head posture was 1.25 inches. One subject failed to show any reduction. The largest and smallest improvements in the cervical lordosis were 23° and 4°, respectively. The average increase in cervical lordosis for all subjects was 9.9°.
Conclusions: This specific protocol was able to provide measurable improvement in cervical lordosis and reduction of forward head posture after only 1 session. However, it is not known which component, the spinal manipulation or the anterior headweighting, made the biggest impact. This study shows the immediate effects of spinal manipulation and headweighting combined. Future research should focus on the headweighting effects over a longer period of time. Additionally, anterior headweighting alone needs to be tested to evaluate its effectiveness as a sole treatment intervention.
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