Objective evaluation of neck muscle tension and static balance in patients with chronic dizziness.
Patients with dizziness often complain of neck pain and stiffness; and conversely patients with neck pain often complain of dizziness and balance disturbance. This suggests important links between the neck, dizziness and balance. Proprioceptive receptors in the cervical spine (paravertebral muscles, facet joints, etc.) make connections to the vestibular and visual apparatus and to several areas of the central nervous system, which coordinates them to allow posture control.
This study aimed at clarifying the mechanisms of neck symptoms in patients with dizziness. Bilateral trapezius muscle tension was measured and compared to static postural perturbation, in 26 patients with chronic dizziness.
Bilateral neck muscle tension was correlated to static balance (total length of the path, LNG) only when the eyes were closed. Furthermore, the left-right ratio of neck muscle tension and LNG were correlated, with eyes closed, in controls and in patients with unilateral vestibular deficits; neck muscle asymmetry therefore reflects asymmetry in vestibular function.
In summary, these results strongly suggest that neck proprioceptive input is important for postural control. There is a relationship between neck muscle tension and posture observed in patients with chronic dizziness (probably do to vestibular compensation for increased proprioceptive inputs from the neck muscles to the vestibular centers). This study present novel findings of the relationship between neck (trapezius) muscle tension and static balance.> From: Asama et al., Acta Otolaryngol 132 (2012) 1168–1171. All rights reserved to Informa Healthcare.
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