Effects of cervical muscle fatigue protocol on balance and field-dependency

Gosselin, Guy (Engineer)

December 2014

Thesis or dissertation

© 2014 Guy Gosselin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Cervical functional capacity outcome measures that are simple and reliable are urgently needed in order permit accurate assessment/reassessment during treatments and rehabilitation. Induced neck muscle fatigue has been shown to alter functional capacities such as balance and kinaesthetic sense in the standing posture.

A series of experiments were carried out in order to improve our general knowledge of neck functional capacities with the view to ultimately developing neck injuries management outcomes measures. In particular, the following questions were addressed 1) which optimal type of foam pads used during static computerised posturography are the most effective to enhance postural disturbances according each participant‟s weight and 2) what are the effects of various neck muscle groups fatigue on balance and on the perception of the subjective visual vertical and horizontal?

The results suggest that the foam pads selected for posturography should 1) possess a sufficiently high modulus of elasticity and 2) result in minimal deflection under the participant‟s load. Additionally, this thesis highlights the role of different muscle groups on functional capacities. Firstly, neck flexor and extensor muscle groups do not appear to play as much a significant role in our space awareness abilities as initially thought. Secondly, extensors and lateral flexor muscle groups appear to be major contributing factors to cervical functional capacities.

The novel approach used in this project provides results that challenge existing concepts on the role of different muscle groups on function. The new knowledge presented should help researchers in their development of more accurate and practical functional capacity testing protocol.

Department of Engineering, The University of Hull
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