Postural control during quiet standing following cervical muscular fatigue: effects of changes in sensory inputs

Nicolas Vuillerme, Nicolas Pinsault, Jacques Vaillant
Neuroscience Letters 2005 April 22, 378 (3): 135-9
The purpose of the present experiment was to investigate the effects of cervical muscular fatigue on postural control during quiet standing under different conditions of reliability and/or availability of somatosensory inputs from the plantar soles and the ankles and visual information. To this aim, 14 young healthy adults were asked to sway as little as possible in three sensory conditions (No vision, No vision-Foam support and Vision) executed in two conditions of No fatigue and Fatigue of the scapula elevator muscles. Centre of foot pressure (CoP) displacements were recorded using a force platform. Results showed that (1) the cervical muscular fatigue yielded increased CoP displacements in the absence of vision, (2) this effect was more accentuated when somatosensation was degraded by standing on a foam surface and (3) the availability of vision allowed the individuals to suppress this destabilising effect. On the whole, these findings not only stress the importance of intact cervical neuromuscular function on postural control during quiet standing, but also suggest a reweigthing of sensory cues in balance control following cervical muscular fatigue by increasing the reliance on the somatosensory inputs from the plantar soles and the ankles and visual information.

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