Advertisement

Age-related differences to neck range of motion and muscle strength: potential risk factors to fall-related traumatic brain injuries

  • Tyler A. Wood
  • Jacob J. SosnoffEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Fall-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a serious health concern for adults over the age of 75 years, yet there is limited knowledge on possible modifiable risk factors. The neck is responsible for supporting the head during falls and age-related differences to the neck muscular could provide modifiable risk factors. However, there is limited empirical data pertaining to age-related differences in neck range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength in adults over the age of 75 years.

Aims

To understand the age-related differences in neck muscle ROM and strength, we quantified neck active and passive ROM and isometric strength in four directions in young (18–30 years), young-old (60–74 years) and old-old (75–89 years) groups.

Methods

57 participants were divided into groups based on age. Participants underwent testing of neck active and passive ROM and neck isometric strength in flexion, extension, and lateral flexion.

Results

One-way ANOVAs revealed a significant effect of group on active and passive ROM in flexion, extension, and right and left lateral flexion (p < 0.001). Moreover, one-way ANOVAs revealed a significant group difference in only left lateral flexion strength (p < 0.030), yet there were large effect sizes observed between the young and old-old groups.

Discussion

These findings suggest there are some age-related differences to the neck ROM and strength, which may be placing older adults at a greater risk for fall-related TBIs.

Conclusion

Future research should investigate the association between neck ROM and strength and head impact during falls in older adults.

Keywords

Aging Neck Muscle strength Range of motion Traumatic brain injuries 

Notes

Funding information

The authors have no funding to disclose for this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Human rights and ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institutional Review Board (Protocol number: 19803) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in this study.

References

  1. 1.
    Taylor CA, Bell JM, Breiding MJ et al (2017) Traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, deaths: united states, 2007 and 2013. MMWR Surveill Summ 66:1–16.  https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6609a1 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fu WW, Fu TS, Jing R et al (2017) Predictors of falls and mortality among elderly adults with traumatic brain injury: a nationwide, population-based study. PLoS One 12:e0175868.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175868 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Peters ME, Gardner RC (2018) Traumatic brain injury in older adults: do we need a different approach? Concussion Lond Engl 3:Cnc56.  https://doi.org/10.2217/cnc-2018-0001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gardner RC, Dams-O’Connor K, Morrissey MR et al (2018) Geriatric traumatic brain injury: epidemiology, outcomes, knowledge gaps, and future directions. J Neurotrauma.  https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5371 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hwang HF, Cheng CH, Chien DK et al (2015) Risk factors for traumatic brain injuries during falls in older persons. J Head Trauma Rehab 30:E9–17.  https://doi.org/10.1097/htr.0000000000000093 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wood TA, Moon Y, Sun R et al (2019) Age related differences in head impact during experimentally induced sideways falls. Biomed Res Int 2019:7.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/6804614 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wood TA, Morrison S, Sosnoff JJ (2019) The role of neck musculature in traumatic brain injuries in older adults: implications from sports medicine. Front Med 6:53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bretzin AC, Mansell JL, Tierney RT et al (2017) Sex differences in anthropometrics and heading kinematics among division I soccer athletes: a pilot study. Sport Health Multidiscip Approach 9:168–173.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738116678615 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dezman ZD, Ledet EH, Kerr HA (2013) Neck strength imbalance correlates with increased head acceleration in soccer heading. Sport Health 5:320–326.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738113480935 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eckner JT, Oh YK, Joshi MS et al (2014) Effect of neck muscle strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation on the kinematic response of the head to impulsive loads. Am J Sport Med 42:566–576.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546513517869 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gilchrist I, Moglo K, Storr M et al (2016) Effects of head flexion posture on the multidirectional static force capacity of the neck. Clin Biomech 37:44–52.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2016.05.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gutierrez GM, Conte C, Lightbourne K (2014) The relationship between impact force, neck strength, and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females. Pediatr Exerc Sci 26:33–40.  https://doi.org/10.1123/pes.2013-0102 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tierney RT, Sitler MR, Swanik CB et al (2005) Gender differences in head-neck segment dynamic stabilization during head acceleration. Med Sci Sport Exerc 37:272–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Viano DC, Casson IR, Pellman EJ (2007) Concussion in professional football: biomechanics of the struck player–part 14. Neurosurgery 61:313–327.  https://doi.org/10.1227/01.neu.0000279969.02685.d0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Salo PK, Hakkinen AH, Kautiainen H et al (2009) Quantifying the effect of age on passive range of motion of the cervical spine in healthy working-age women. J Orthop Sport Phys Ther 39:478–483.  https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2009.2933 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kuhlman KA (1993) Cervical range of motion in the elderly. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 74:1071–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Youdas JW, Garrett TR, Suman VJ et al (1992) Normal range of motion of the cervical spine: an initial goniometric study. Phys Ther 72:770–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Larsson L, Grimby G, Karlsson J (1979) Muscle strength and speed of movement in relation to age and muscle morphology. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol 46:451–456.  https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1979.46.3.451 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kallman DA, Plato CC, Tobin JD (1990) The role of muscle loss in the age-related decline of grip strength: cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives. J Gerontol 45:M82–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Salo PK, Ylinen JJ, Malkia EA et al (2006) Isometric strength of the cervical flexor, extensor, and rotator muscles in 220 healthy females aged 20 to 59 years. J Orthop Sport Phys Ther 36:495–502.  https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2006.2122 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Garces GL, Medina D, Milutinovic L et al (2002) Normative database of isometric cervical strength in a healthy population. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34:464–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Foust DR, Chaffin DB, Snyder RG et al (1973) Cervical range of motion and dynamic response and strength of cervical muscles. SAE Intern.  https://doi.org/10.4271/730975 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Collins CL, Fletcher EN, Fields SK et al (2014) Neck strength: a protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports. J Prim Preven 35:309–319.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-014-0355-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lord SR, Menz HB, Tiedemann A (2003) A physiological profile approach to falls risk assessment and prevention. Phys Ther 83:237–252PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Norkin C, White DJ (2009) The cervical spine. In: Measurement of joint motion, vol 4. FA Davis Company, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Almosnino S, Pelland L, Stevenson JM (2010) Retest reliability of force-time variables of neck muscles under isometric conditions. J Athl Train 45:453–458.  https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-45.5.453 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kocur P, Grzeskowiak M, Wiernicka M et al (2017) Effects of aging on mechanical properties of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles during transition from lying to sitting position-a cross-sectional study. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 70:14–18.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2016.12.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Quek J, Pua YH, Clark RA et al (2013) Effects of thoracic kyphosis and forward head posture on cervical range of motion in older adults. Man Ther 18:65–71.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2012.07.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Meznaric M, Erzen I, Karen P et al (2018) Effect of ageing on the myosin heavy chain composition of the human sternocleidomastoid muscle. Ann Anat Anat Anz 216:95–99.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aanat.2017.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    de Labra C, Guimaraes-Pinheiro C, Maseda A et al (2015) Effects of physical exercise interventions in frail older adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. BMC Geriatr 15:154.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-015-0155-4 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Gschwind YJ, Kressig RW, Lacroix A et al (2013) A best practice fall prevention exercise program to improve balance, strength/power, and psychosocial health in older adults: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatr 13:105.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2318-13-105 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Eckner JT, Goshtasbi A, Curtis K et al (2018) Feasibility and effect of cervical resistance training on head kinematics in youth athletes: a pilot study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 97:292–297.  https://doi.org/10.1097/phm.0000000000000843 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Xu J, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD et al (2018) Deaths: final data for 2016. Natl Vital Stat Rep 67:118Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Physical EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDekalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology and Community HealthUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations