Disturbance of neck proprioception and feed-forward motor control following static neck flexion in healthy young adults

Roghayeh Mousavi-Khatir, Saeed Talebian, Nima Toosizadeh, Gholam Reaza Olyaei, Nader Maroufi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The highly complex proprioceptive system provides neuromuscular control of the mobile cervical spine. Static neck flexion can induce the elongation of posterior tissues and altered afferent input from the mechanoreceptors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of prolonged static neck flexion on neck proprioception and anticipatory postural adjustments. Thirty-eight healthy participants (20 females and 18 males) between the ages of 20–35 years with no history of neck, low back, and shoulder pain enrolled in this study. Neck proprioception and anticipatory muscle activity were tested before and after 10-min static neck flexion. For assessment of neck proprioception, each participant was asked to perform 10 trials of the cervicocephalic relocation test to the neutral head position after active neck rotation to the left and right sides. Anticipatory postural adjustments were evaluated during a rapid arm flexion test. Following the flexion, the absolute and variable errors in head repositioning significantly increased (p < 0.05). The results also showed that there was a significant delay in the onset of myoelectric activity of the cervical erector spinae muscles after flexion (p = 0.001). The results of this study suggested that a 10-min static flexion can lead to changes in the neck proprioception and feed-forward control due to mechanical and neuromuscular changes in the viscoelastic cervical spine structures. These changes in sensory-motor control may be a risk factor for neck pain and injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical spine
  • Electromyography
  • Motor control
  • Proprioception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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