Three-dimensional analysis of active head and cervical spine range of motion: effect of age in healthy male subjects

Chiarella Sforza, GianPiero Grassi, Nicola Fragnito, Michela Turci, Virgilio Ferrario
Clinical Biomechanics 2002, 17 (8): 611-4

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of age on active head-cervical range of motion in healthy men.

DESIGN: Three-dimensional cervical motion ranges and patterns were measured in 70 men.

BACKGROUND: The effect of age on cervical range of motion is still discussed.

METHOD: Twenty adolescent (mean age 16 year), 30 young adult (mean age 23 year), and 20 mid-aged (mean age 37 year) men performed maximal head and cervical spine flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation. Movements were detected using a digital optoelectronic instrument. Maximum head-cervical spine and thoracic motions were separated.

RESULTS: Flexion and extension were larger in the adolescents and young adults (130-132 degrees ) than in the mid-aged men (117 degrees ). Thoracic movement increased as a function of age. Lateral bending was symmetric, associated with head-cervical rotation and extension, and larger in adolescents (85 degrees ) than in young (77 degrees ) and mid-aged adults (79 degrees ). Axial rotation was symmetric, associated with flexion-extension and lateral bending, and similar in the three age groups (respectively, 160 degrees, 155 degrees, 153 degrees ).

CONCLUSIONS: Active head-cervical range of motion reduced between 15 and 45 years of age in men. Relevance The present data can be used as a reference for cervical range in motion in men between 15 and 45 years.

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