Authors: Nur Hazirah Alifah binti Abdul Halim, Nurul Syafiqah binti Baharam, Norazlin binti Mohamad, Vikram Mohan
Abstract: Alteration in head posture and neck muscles activation has been observed among neck pain patients due to variation of motor dysfunction. Motor dysfunction can further lead to changes in thoracic and rib cage mechanics there by causing respiratory dysfunction. However, limited evidence exists regarding the alteration of cervical posture and respiratory involvement among neck pain patients. The main objective of this study was to compare the influence of cervical posture on the pattern of the breathing and chest wall expansion between healthy and neck pain population. 40 subjects (20 healthy and 20 neck pain subjects) were recruited based on the selected criteria as set by the study protocol. Electronic head posture instrument (EHPI) has been used to measure their cervical posture and the breathing pattern was assessed by palpation method. Finally, the chest expansion was measured using measuring tape. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0. The results of the study showed a significant difference (p<0.05) in cranio vertebral (CV) angle, breathing pattern, chest expansion between healthy and neck pain groups. Neck pain subjects showed reduced CV angle and chest expansion. In addition, there is also an alteration of the breathing pattern among neck pain patients. However, there is no significant difference in upper thoracic (UT) angle and 4th intercostal space chest expansion between the groups. The study proposed that neck pain patients may predispose to alteration in respiratory involvement. This study recommends that respiratory exercise could be included as part of rehabilitation measures among neck pain population.
Keywords: chest expansion, breathing pattern, cervical posture, neck pain