Effect of Deep Cervical Flexor Training vs. Conventional Isometric Training on Forward Head Posture, Pain, Neck Disability Index In Dentists Suffering from Chronic Neck Pain

J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Oct;7(10):2261-4. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/6072.3487. Epub 2013 Oct 5.


Neck pain accounts for 15% of all soft tissue problems seen in general practice and are a common reason for referral to physiotherapy treatment. The prevalence of neck pain in dentists is 74.3%. Musculoskeletal symptoms in dentists are caused due to many reasons for e.g., prolonged static posture, repetitive movements, suboptimal lighting, and genetic predisposition. Since deep cervical muscle activity is required in synergy with superficial muscle activity to stabilize the cervical segments, a study is needed, to compare the effectiveness of deep cervical flexor (DCF) training and posture correction training on neck pain and neck disability index and forward head posture.

Aim: To determine and compare the effect of DCF training on forward head posture, neck pain and neck disability index in dentists suffering from chronic non severe neck pain.

Material and methods: Total of 30 subjects were selected, based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, who were further divided into Experimental and Control groups. Baseline information of dependent variables was taken at the beginning of study on day one, for Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Neck disability Index (NDI). Forward head posture was measured on day one using digital photograph technique. Then, Experimental group was given DCF training and Control group was given conventional isometrics training (CIT) for 4 weeks under supervision of examiner. All measurements were repeated at end of 4(th) week, on completion of study.

Results: It was observed that pain and disability had reduced in both groups on group analysis. But the forward head posture had improved significantly in experimental group only.

Conclusion: DCF training is more effective than CIT in improving forward head posture, decreasing pain and disability in dentists suffering from chronic neck pain.

Keywords: Deep cervical flexor (DCF) training; Dentist; Forward head posture; Neck pain.