Total head excursion and resting head posture: normal and patient comparisons

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Jan;81(1):62-6. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(00)90223-5.


Objective: To determine whether significant differences existed between normal and patient groups on three postural measurements: anterior-posterior total head excursion (THE), resting head posture in sitting (RHPsit), and resting head posture in standing (RHPstd).

Subjects: Forty-two healthy subjects, 13 men and 29 women between the ages of 20 and 60 years, were matched to 42 patients according to gender and age.

Design: Measurements of THE, RHPsit, and RHPstd were taken for each subject. Patients were measured during their initial evaluation and had neck pain as a primary or secondary complaint.

Results: A two-way multivariate analysis of variance followed by two-way analyses of variance showed that normal subjects had a significantly (p<.05) greater THE than did the patients and that men (patients and controls) scored significantly higher (p<.05) than women (patients and controls) on both THE and RHPstd.

Conclusion: Clinical assessment of patients with cervical pain should focus on cervical mobility rather than resting head posture. Head/neck posture is different for males and females and they should not be judged by the same standard.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Head / physiology*
  • Head / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Posture*
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors