Purpose: To assess the endurance of the deep neck flexors (Rectus Capitus Anterior, Rectus Capitus Lateralis, Longus Capitus, Longus Colli - “Muscle specificity in tests of cervical flexor muscle performance”).
Test Position: Supine, hooklying.
Performing the Test: Tuck patients chin in and lift off table 1 inch. The examiner looks for substitution of the platysma or SCM muscle.
Normal Values:Men: 38.9 seconds, Women: 29.4 seconds (“The Deep Neck Flexor Endurance Test: normative data scores in healthy adults”).
Importance of the Test: Those with neck pain were found to have significantly decreased deep neck flexor endurance, average of 21.4 seconds (“Reliability of a measurement of neck flexor muscle endurance”). They tend to over-utilize other muscles (platysma, hyoid muscles, and especially the sternocleidomastoid) for postural maintenance, which leads to the commonly seen position of forward head postures-a position we commonly see in those who use computers frequently or engage in sedentary activity on a regular basis. This may lead you to think of some impairments that are contributing to the patient’s pain. Be sure to assess a patient's posture and segmental mobility in the cervical spine.
Note: tests should only be performed by a properly trained health care practitioner.