Associated sagittal spinal movements in performance of head pro- and retraction in healthy women: A kinematic analysis

P Rune Persson, Helga Hirschfeld and Lena Nilsson-Wikmar

This study examined the regional contribution of spinal movements to head pro- and retraction in addition to the effect of a more or less restrained sitting position in healthy women.  Fourteen healthy women performed seven sagittal head excursions in a more or less restrained sitting position, during which time their kinematic response was measured with an optoelectronic system. Approximately 60% of the total anterior/posterior head excursion originated from the cervical spine, almost 30% from the cervicothoracic spine C7-T4, and approximately 10% from thoracic regions down to T12. Total anterior/posterior head excursion and middle thoracic vertical displacement was smaller in the more restrained sitting position. Movements in the thoracic region contributed to the total head excursion. Therefore, clinicians should recognize the thoracic contribution to sagittal head excursion when using pro- and retraction as a diagnostic and treatment tool.

Manual Therapy, Volume 12, Issue 2, May 2007, Pages 119-125

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