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Normal Values for Cervical Range of Motion

Swinkels, Raymond A. H. M. PhD*,†,‡; Swinkels-Meewisse, Ilse E. J. C. M. PhD†,‡

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000158
Cervical Spine

Study Design. Cohort study.

Objective. To generate normal values for active range of motion (ACROM) of the cervical spine in asymptomatic persons.

Summary of Background Data. There is a lack of normal values for ACROM based on large groups and stratified for different age categories.

Methods. Four hundred asymptomatic persons were included, 100 for each decade of age from 20 years to 60 years and in each subgroup 50 males and 50 females. ACROM was measured with the cervical range of motion (CROM) device. Analysis of variance and the Scheffé post hoc test was used to investigate the differences of ACROM between the decades of age. Linear regression analysis was performed to examine the influence of age and sex on ACROM.

Results. The results of this study show that the ACROM decreases significantly in persons older than 50 years for all directions except extension and side flexion compared with that in the subgroup aged 40 to 50. Age had an overall significant effect on the ACROM for all directions. Sex proved to have no significant effect on the ACROM.

Conclusion. Normal values were established for ACROM in a group of 400 persons without neck complaints. It was demonstrated that age has a significant influence on the ACROM, but sex has no influence.

Level of Evidence: N/A

In Brief

In this study, we examined the active cervical range of motion (ACROM) in large groups of asymptomatic persons between 20 and 60 years. The final goal was to generate normal values for ACROM. It is demonstrated that age has a significant influence on the ACROM, but sex has no influence.

Author Information

*Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Heerlen, the Netherlands

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Centre of Research Autonomy and Participation for People with Chronic Illnesses, Heerlen, the Netherlands and

Centre for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Geldrop, the Netherlands.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Raymond A. H. M. Swinkels, PhD, Ulenpas 80, 5655 JD Eindhoven, the Netherlands; E-mail:

Acknowledgment date: October 16, 2013. First revision date: November 25, 2013. Acceptance date: November 26, 2013.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

No funds were received in support of this work.

No relevant financial activities outside the submitted work.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins