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Postural control during quiet standing following cervical muscular fatigue: effects of changes in sensory inputs

September 7, 2013

Abstract
The purpose of the present experiment was to investigate the effects of cervical muscular fatigue on postural control during quiet standing under different conditions of reliability and/or availability of somatosensory inputs from the plantar soles and the ankles and visual information. To this aim, 14 young healthy adults were asked to sway as little as possible in three sensory conditions (No vision, No vision-Foam support andVision) executed in two conditions of No fatigue and Fatigue of the scapula elevator muscles. Centre of foot pressure (CoP) displacements were recorded using a force platform. Results showed that (1) the cervical muscular fatigue yielded increased CoP displacements in the absence of vision, (2) this effect was more accentuated when somatosensation was degraded by standing on a foam surface and (3) the availability of vision allowed the individuals to suppress this destabilizing effect. On the whole, these findings not only stress the importance of intact cervical neuromuscular function on postural control during quiet standing, but also suggest a reweigthing of sensory cues in balance control following cervical muscular fatigue by increasing the reliance on the somatosensory inputs from the plantar soles and the ankles and visual
information.

Results of the present experiment showed that (1) the cervical muscular fatigue yielded increased CoP displacements in the absence of vision, (2) this effect was more accentuated when somatosensory information was disrupted by standing on a foam surface and (3) the availability of vision allowed the individuals to suppress this destabilising effect. On the whole, these findings not only stress the importance of intact cervical muscle function on postural control during quiet standing, but also suggest a reweigthing of sensory cues in balance control following to cervical muscular fatigue by increasing the reliance on the somatosensory inputs from the plantar soles and the ankles and visual information.
Finally, we would like to mention that some subjects reported sensation of cervical pain at the end of the fatiguing exercise. Indeed, pain often develops following fatiguing muscle contractions. This sensation probably arises from firing of the groups III and IV afferents, that are sensitive to metabolites and inflammatory substances (e.g., potassium, lactic acid, bradykinin and arachidonic acid) accumulated within the muscle during activity to fatigue (e.g., [27]). There is thus a possibility that pain per se might affect postural control. Such a proposal is yet speculative and warrants additional investigations.

Vuillerme N, Pinsault N, Vaillant J. Postural control during quiet standing following cervical muscular fatigue: effects of changes in sensory inputs. Neuroscience Letters. 2005 Apr 22;378(3):135-9. PubMed PMID: WOS:000228112600003.


REDUCED HEAD STEADINESS IN WHIPLASH COMPARED WITH NON- TRAUMATIC NECK PAIN The Relationship between Posture and Curvature of the Cervical Spine
REDUCED HEAD STEADINESS IN WHIPLASH COMPARED WITH NON- TRAUMATIC NECK PAIN
The Relationship between Posture and Curvature of the Cervical Spine

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