Influence of deep neck flexors on balance and proprioception

Can fatigue in the deep neck flexors impact balance and proprioception?

The muscle group commonly referred to as the deep neck flexors (DNF) is made up of cervical spine muscles: rectus capitis, longus colli, and longus capitis. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing the cervical spine during activity and gross neck movements.

When the DNF reach a point of fatigue, they do not provide the necessary stability, and the posterior muscles of the neck, such as the upper traps, can become fatigued and painful.

Moreover, fatigue of the DNF is thought to impact the somatosensory input from the muscle spindles, and disrupt cervical proprioception. This reduction in cervical proprioception impacts posture and balance. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between DNF fatigue, cervical proprioception and balance in an otherwise healthy population.


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