Background: Literature is still limited regarding reports of non-invasive assessment of the cervical range of motion in normal subjects. Investigations into compensatory motions, defined as the contribution of an additional direction to the required motion, are also limited.
The objectives of this work were to develop and assess a reliable method for measuring the cervical range of motion in order to investigate motion and compensatory strategies.
Methods and data collection: Ninety-seven no neck-related pain subjects (no severe cervical pathology, 57 women, age: 28.3 ± 7.5y. old, BMI: 22.5 ± 3.2 kg/m2) underwent a non-invasive cervical range of motion assessment protocol. In-vivo head’s motion relative to the thorax was assessed through the measurement of the main angular amplitudes in the 3 directions (flexion/extension, axial rotations and lateral inclinations) and associated compensatory motions using an opto-electronic acquisition system.
Results: The principal motion reproducibility resulted in intra-class correlation coefficients ranging from 0.81 to 0.86. The following maximum ranges of motion were found: 127.4 ± 15.1° of flexion/extension, 89.3 ± 12° of lateral inclinations and 146.4 ± 13° of axial rotations after 6 outlier exclusions. Compensatory motions highly depend on the associated principal motion: for flexion/extension: (3.5 ± 7.6;-2.1 ± 7.8°), for rotation: (25.7 ± 17.9°;0.4 ± 4.7)°, for inclination: (22.9 ± 34.7°;-0.04 ± 8.7°). Age, BMI and weight significantly correlated with flexions (p < 0.032). Motion patterns were identified through clustering.
Conclusions: This kinematic analysis has been proven to be a reliable diagnostic tool for the cervical range of motion. The non-unicity and variability of motion patterns through the clustering of motion strategy identification have been shown. Compensatory motions contributed to such motion pattern definition despite presenting significant intra-individual variability.
Author keywords: Rotation — Cervical motion — Compensatory motion — Motion pattern — Motion strategy — Experimental — Non-invasive motion measurements
Author affiliations: CN: Collège d'Ostéopathie de Provence, Aix en Provence, France; CN, RJB, SA, ME, PJA: iLab-Spine - Laboratoire international en imagerie et biomécanique du Rachis, Marseille, France; RJB, SA, ME, PJA: iLab Spine - Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée, UMRT24 IFSTTAR - Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine secteur-Nord, Marseille, France
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