Normative database of isometric cervical strength in a healthy population

GARCÉS, GERARDO L.; MEDINA, DANIEL; MILUTINOVIC, LJUBO; GARAVOTE, PEDRO; GUERADO, ENRIQUE

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2002 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - pp 464-470
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

GARCÉS, G. L., D. MEDINA, L. MILUTINOVIC, P. GARAVOTE, and E. GUERADO. Normative database of isometric cervical strength in a healthy population. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 464–470, 2002.

Objectives: This was a descriptive study involving maximal and average isometric strength measurements of the cervical musculature. The purpose of this study was 1) to determine the test-retest reliability of a computerized dynamometer for measuring muscular strength of the neck flexor and extensor muscles in a healthy population, and 2) to afford a normative database of the maximal and averaged isometric strength of the cervical flexors and extensors in a healthy population of 94 volunteers. The literature contains only a few descriptive studies pertaining to strength levels of the cervical musculature; none of these studies used a computerized dynamometer to determine cervical isometric strength. Only a few studies include cervical flexor and extensor isometric strength, evaluating its normal ratio as well as their correlation to body mass index.

Methods: Testing was carried out using a computerized dynamometer to measure isometric cervical strength at 0° (neutral), 5°, and 10° of flexion and extension of the neck.

Results: Men show approximately 30 to 40% more strength than women both for flexion and extension at all angles and age groups. Neutral positioning showed the maximum strength values for both flexion and extension.

Conclusion: There was a significant negative correlation between age and cervical strength and a significant positive correlation between weight and strength and between height and strength. However, the flexor/extensor ratio was maintained around 0.6 in all ages.

Instituto Canario de Ortopedia y Traumatología, Departamento de Ciencias Médicas y Quirúrgicas, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, SPAIN; and Servicio de Traumatología y Cirugía Ortopédica, Hospital Costa del Sol, Marbella, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, SPAIN

Submitted for publication February 2000.

Accepted for publication June 2001.

©2002The American College of Sports Medicine