Deep Neck Flexor Endurance Test | Cervical Motor Control Impairment
The deep neck flexor endurance test can be useful in the assessment of neck pain or headache with hypothesized impaired isolated muscle endurance of the deep neck flexors.
To conduct the test have your patient in supine hook lying position. With the chin in a maximally retracted position, ask the patient to lift the head and neck until the head is approximately 2.5cm / 1inch above the table while keeping the chin tucked in. Count the time the patient can hold this position and place one hand on the table below the patient’s occipital bone. Cue the patient to tuck the chin or hold the head up when either the skin folds begin to separate or the patient’s occiput touches your hand. Stop the test if the chin skin folds begin to separate due to loss of chin tuck or the occiput touches your hand for more than 1 second.
Domenech et al. (2015) report mean hold times of 39sec for men and 29sec for women in a sample of 126 asymptomatic adults between the age of 20 and 80 and the inter-rater reliability of this test is reported at 66%.
Other common tests to assess for a cervical motor control impairment are:
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