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The effect of cervical spine subtypes on center of pressure parameters in a large asymptomatic young adult population

Daffin, L., Stuelcken, M.C. and Sayers, M.G.L. (2018) The effect of cervical spine subtypes on center of pressure parameters in a large asymptomatic young adult population. Gait & Posture, 67 . pp. 112-116.

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Recent research highlighted that non-lordotic subtypes are common within an asymptomatic population of young adults. The potential mechanisms responsible for the decreased postural control witnessed in healthy participants exhibiting non-lordotic cervical alignment are unclear.

Research question

Therefore, the aim of this study is to compare and contrast asymptomatic radiographically derived sagittal cervical alignment subtypes with Center of Pressure (CoP) parameters.


In this cross-sectional study strict asymptomatic inclusion criteria were met by 150 of the original 182 volunteers. All radiographs were assessed using a multi-method subtype system with participants classified into lordotic and non-lordotic groups. Participants performed 90s narrow stance trials with their eyes closed whilst standing on both a firm surface (FS) and compliant surface (CS) (3 trials per surface). CoP parameters were recorded from a force platform sampling at 100 Hz. Nonparametric statistical tests were conducted to assess differences between groups for each surface type and to determine differences in CoP parameters between FS and CS types.


Significant differences were found between groups on both surfaces for the anterior to posterior range (FS: p = 0.013; CS: p = 0.023), total excursion (FS: p = 0.029; CS: p = 0.005) and mean velocity of total excursion (FS: p = 0.032; CS: p = 0.004).


Our data suggest that sagittal plane cervical alignment is a measure capable of distinguishing between the postural control of asymptomatic lordotic and non-lordotic young adult participants on both surfaces types. Furthermore, decreased postural control is present in asymptomatic participants across all non-lordotic subtypes and is not isolated exclusively to those with forward head posture. Consequently, future research endeavours should investigate the clinical significance of these non-lordotic findings in relation to both the potential for early cervical osseous degeneration and the transitional stages of non-specific pain sufferers from previously asymptomatic young adults.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Health Professions
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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