Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/43284
- Measuring the posteroanterior stiffness of the cervical spine
Snodgrass, Suzanne J.;
Rivett, Darren A.;
Robertson, Val J.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Health, School of Health Sciences
- An essential part of improving manual therapy treatment for cervical spine disorders is the identification of the mechanical effects of manual techniques. The aims of this research were to develop a reliable and safe instrument for measuring cervical spine stiffness, and to document stiffness in a group of asymptomatic individuals. A device for measuring cervical spine stiffness was designed and tested. The stiffness of the cervical spine of 67 asymptomatic individuals was measured at C2 and C7 on one or more occasions. Stiffness was defined as the slope of the linear region of the force–displacement curve (coefficient K). For C2, the linear region of the force–displacement curve was from 7 to 40 N, and for C7, 20–70 N. The mean stiffness (coefficient K) on the first measurement occasion at C2 was 4.58 N/mm (95% CI 4.30–4.85), and at C7 was 7.03 N/mm (95% CI 6.50–7.57). ICC(2,1) for repeated measurements was 0.84 (95% CI 0.74–0.90). Stiffness measurements in the cervical spine were generally lower than those previously reported for the lumbar spine. Age was positively associated with C2 stiffness (p=0.01). Males were stiffer at C7 than females (p<0.001). This research provides a basis for future studies investigating the effects of manual techniques on cervical spine stiffness, potentially leading to improved outcomes for patients treated by manual therapy.
- Manual Therapy Vol. 13, Issue 6, p. 520-528
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- journal article