Relation between cervical posture on lateral skull radiographs and electromyographic activity of masticatory muscles in caucasian adult women: a cross-sectional study

J Oral Rehabil. 2007 Sep;34(9):652-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2007.01775.x.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between cervical posture on lateral skull radiographs and surface electromyographic recordings (sEMG) of head and neck muscles. The sample comprised 40 Caucasian adult females, average age 26.8 (20-48); lateral skull radiographs were obtained in natural head position (mirror position). sEMG activity was bilaterally investigated for the following muscles: masseter, anterior temporalis, digastric, posterior cervical, sternocleidomastoid and upper and lower trapezius. All muscles were monitored at rest and during maximal voluntary clenching (MVC). A Pearson's correlation coefficient revealed significant correlations (P < 0.01) between cranio-cervical angulations and sEMG activity of masseter, digastric, lower trapezius, during MVC and anterior temporalis at rest. Significant correlations (P < 0.01) were also found between cervical lordosis angle and sEMG activity of masseter (during MVC) and lower trapezius (at rest). In view of transversal method, no conclusion was possible about the mechanism concerning these results. Future longitudinal studies should be directed to understand the extent of environmental and genotype influences by masticatory muscle activity on cervical posture.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cephalometry
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Neck / anatomy & histology*
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Muscles / physiology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Radiography
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging