STUDYDESIGN:Amultivariaterepeated- measures independent-group study design.
OBJECTIVES:Tocomparetheeffectofa craniocervical flexion exercise (CCFEx) program to that of a conventional cervical flexion exercise (CFEx) program in training isometric craniocervi- cal flexor muscle performance.
BACKGROUND:Thecraniocervicalflexormus- cles are important muscles of the cervical spine,
as they have been shown to be impaired in persons with chronic neck pain. While both CCFEx and CFEx protocols have been advocated to train craniocervi- cal flexor muscle performance, at present there is no consensus as to the most effective method.
METHODSANDMEASURES:Fiftyfemales with chronic mild neck pain and disability status were randomly allocated into a 6-week program of either CCFEx (n = 27) or CFEx (n = 23). Isometric dynamometry measurements of craniocervical flexor muscle performance (maximal voluntary con- traction, endurance at 50% of maximal voluntary contraction) were recorded before and following the exercise program. Changes in craniocervical flexor muscle performance (pretraining-posttraining) within and between exercise groups were analyzed with analysis of variance models.
RESULTS:Bothexerciseinterventionssignifi- cantly improved isometric craniocervical flexor muscle performance (P<.02). No significant differ- ences in improvement of muscle performance were observed between the 2 exercise interventions.
CONCLUSION:Itappearsthatisometric craniocervical flexor muscle performance can be trained with either a CCFEx protocol or a conven- tional CFEx protocol in patients with mild neck pain and disability. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2007;37(1):3-9. doi:10.2519/jospt.2007.2237
KEYWORDS:cervicalspine,craniocervical flexion, neck pain, rehabilitation
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