Evaluation of cervical range of motion and isometric neck muscle strength: reliability and validity

Clin Rehabil. 2002 Dec;16(8):851-8. doi: 10.1191/0269215502cr550oa.


Objective: To examine the test-retest reliability and construct validity of cervical active range of motion and isometric neck muscle strength as measured by the Multi Cervical Rehabilitation Unit (Hanoun Medical Inc., Ontario).

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Setting: Institutional practice.

Subjects: Twenty-one patients with neck pain and 25 healthy volunteers.

Methods: After a trial-run session, active range of motion (AROM) was measured in the subsequent two sessions, with 2-3 days in between. During each session, three measurements were taken for each direction (flexion, extension, lateral flexions and rotations). The measurement of isometric strength was after a 15-minute break following completion of the measurement of AROM. Three measurements were made for each of the six directions (flexion, extension, lateral flexions, protraction and retraction). The software of the Multi Cervical Rehabilitation Unit automatically recorded and calculated the maximum AROM and isometric strength.

Results: There was a good to high level of reliability in the measurement of AROM for both groups of subjects, with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) ranging from 0.81 to 0.96. Results also demonstrated very good to excellent reliability in isometric strength measurement (ICCs ranged from 0.92 to 0.99). Moreover, there was a significant difference in isometric neck muscle strength (p = 0.001) and in AROM (p = 0.034) between the two groups.

Conclusions: The Multi Cervical Rehabilitation Unit was found to be reliable and valid for testing the cervical active range of motion and isometric neck muscle strength for both normal and patient subjects.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Neck / physiology*
  • Neck Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Neck Pain / classification
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reproducibility of Results