Where is your head? Simple Clinical Assessment of Neck Proprioception!

One simple method of evaluating cervical kinaesthesia in a patient with a whiplash-associated disorder is by asking:

1) Find the ‘neutral’ position for your head in sitting

2) Now close your eyes and VERY slowly turn to the left or right (as far as you can comfortably go)

3) Keep the eyes closed and return to the ‘neutral’ position again

4)Once you believe you have reached ‘neutral’, open the eyes

The Physical Therapist notes for two things:

1) A subtle ‘cog wheeling’ effect during the exercise… instead of a smooth motion

2) Inaccuracy at finding the ‘neutral’ again…either over or under-shooting

One treatment option: The same exercise as above! Repeat 5 times and perform 3 X per day.

Note: By closing the eyes, greater dependence is placed on the mechanoreceptors in the cervical spine soft-tissues.

This exercise will inevitably improve an individual?s awareness of where their head is in space…, which is pretty important!

Posted on: May 01, 2008

Categories: Cervical Spine

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