Application of real-time postural device for neck pain
Neck pain is common in those who hold a prolonged and static posture behind a computer for work.
Although the causes of neck pain are thought to be multifactorial, prolonged sitting with forwarding head and hyper-kyphotic posture receive much attention as they are thought to increase mechanical loading through the joints and the muscles of the neck.
This study sought to find out whether the application of a wearable posture sensor could modify the spinal posture, muscle activity and perceived pain severity in adults with neck pain.
Participants were included in the study if they had head, neck or shoulder pain for more than 3 months, and if those symptoms were aggravated by prolonged computer work. They were excluded from the study if they had other neuropathic symptoms or other comorbidities.
The task for the participants was to sit on a backless and armless height-adjustable chair with their hips and knees bent at 90 degrees for a 1-hour duration, while typing an e-book displayed on the same monitor. They were given a time of rest until they participated in their second hour of typing on the computer in the same condition. A live postural biofeedback sensor was applied to their body below the mid-clavicle region during one of the 2 hours of typing.
The order of application of the live postural biofeedback sensor was randomised. Surface electromyography was done for bilateral cervical erector spinae, upper trapezius and the thoracic erector spinae groups.
The raw data revealed reduced forward head and thoracic kyphosis as well as muscle activity and pain perception for the group which had applied the wearable technology. However, when the data was synthesised accordingly, no significant differences were present between both groups.
> From: Kuo et al., Gait Posture 67 (2019) 187-193. All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V. Click here for the online summary.