Portelli, A. & Reid, S. (2018). Cervical Proprioception in a Young Population Who Spend Long Periods on Mobile Devices: A 2-Group Comparative Observational Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,41(2), 123-128. United States of America: Mosby Inc.. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.10.004
The purpose of this study was to evaluate if young people with insidious-onset neck pain who spend long periods on mobile electronic devices (known as “text neck") have impaired cervical proprioception and if this is related to time on devices.
A 2-group comparative observational study was conducted at an Australian university. Twenty-two participants with text neck and 22 asymptomatic controls, all of whom were 18 to 35 years old and spent ≥4 hours per day on unsupported electronic devices, were assessed using the head repositioning accuracy (HRA) test. Differences between groups were calculated using independent sample t-tests, and correlations between neck pain intensity, time on devices, and HRA test were performed using Pearson’s bivariate analysis.
During cervical flexion, those with text neck (n = 22, mean age ± standard deviation [SD]: 21 ± 4 years, 59% female) had a 3.9° (SD: 1.4°) repositioning error, and the control group (n = 22, 20 ± 1 years, 68% female) had a 2.9° (SD: 1.2°) error. The mean difference was 1° (95% confidence interval: 0–2, P = .02). For other cervical movements, there was no difference between groups. There was a moderately significant correlation (P ≤ .05) between time spent on electronic devices and cervical pain intensity and between cervical pain intensity and HRA during flexion.
The participants with text neck had a greater proprioceptive error during cervical flexion compared with controls. This could be related to neck pain and time spent on electronic devices.
School of Physiotherapy
Access may be restricted.