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. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Muscle strength
  • Neck
  • Range of motion
  • Traumatic brain injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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