Poor low back muscle endurance has been shown to be a predictor of chronic low back pain. While posture is a modulator of low back muscle endurance, it is unclear whether the phenomenon is neural or mechanical. This study examined low back muscle endurance with changing head and neck posture in a sample of 117 children using the Biering-Sørensen test. Each subject performed the test in a neutral posture followed by randomly selected flexed and extended head and neck positions. Head posture was found to significantly influence low back muscle endurance within subjects (p < .001), with extension yielding the highest endurance scores (boys = 186.6 ± 66.2 s; girls = 192.1 ± 59 s), followed by a neutral posture (boys = 171.3 ± 56.5 s; girls = 181.7 ± 57.3 s), and flexion (boys = 146.2 ± 63.8 s; girls = 159.8 ± 49.3 s). Given the minimal influence of changing moment from head and neck posture, it appears other mechanisms influence endurance score.
Keywords: Biering-Sørensen test; cervical flexion and extension; neural tension; neutral posture; posture.