Normative database of isometric cervical strength in a healthy population

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Mar;34(3):464-70. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200203000-00013.


Objectives: This was a descriptive study involving maximal and average isometric strength measurements of the cervical musculature. The purpose of this study was 1) to determine the test-retest reliability of a computerized dynamometer for measuring muscular strength of the neck flexor and extensor muscles in a healthy population, and 2) to afford a normative database of the maximal and averaged isometric strength of the cervical flexors and extensors in a healthy population of 94 volunteers. The literature contains only a few descriptive studies pertaining to strength levels of the cervical musculature; none of these studies used a computerized dynamometer to determine cervical isometric strength. Only a few studies include cervical flexor and extensor isometric strength, evaluating its normal ratio as well as their correlation to body mass index.

Methods: Testing was carried out using a computerized dynamometer to measure isometric cervical strength at 0 degrees (neutral), 5 degrees, and 10 degrees of flexion and extension of the neck.

Results: Men show approximately 30 to 40% more strength than women both for flexion and extension at all angles and age groups. Neutral positioning showed the maximum strength values for both flexion and extension.

Conclusion: There was a significant negative correlation between age and cervical strength and a significant positive correlation between weight and strength and between height and strength. However, the flexor/extensor ratio was maintained around 0.6 in all ages.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results