It has been hypothesized that proprioceptive information plays an important role in cervical spine stabilization and that muscle fatigue may alter proprioceptive ability. Therefore, we investigated the effects of specific dorsal neck muscle fatigue on cervicocephalic kinaesthetic sensibility. Twenty-five asymptomatic young adults (age range 18-30 years) were recruited for the study. The subjects were measured for dorsal neck muscle strength (kg) with a digital dynamo-meter. The repositioning errors (degrees) were measured by two cervicocephalic kinaesthetic sensibility tests: the head-to-neutral head position repositioning and head-to-target repositioning tests. The repositioning tests were performed in the sagittal, transverse and frontal planes. The subjects were then exposed to a dorsal neck muscles fatiguing exercise protocol, after which the dorsal neck muscle strength and repositioning errors were again measured. Dorsal neck muscle strength was significantly reduced and repositioning errors in the sagittal plane were significantly increased after the fatiguing protocol (p < 0.001). However, in terms of frontal and transverse plane movements, no difference in repositioning errors was found following the fatiguing protocol. Dorsal neck muscle fatigue alters cervical position sense in sagittal plane movements. Improving the strength of these muscles might play a vital role in maintaining cervical position sense.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation