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Background: Forward head posture is associated with impaired musculoskeletal function and sensorimotor system. However, the effects of an exercise program as part of routine activities in persons with forward head posture remain unknown.
Objectives: To investigate the effects of an exercise program on cervical posture and sensorimotor function in persons with forward head posture.
Materials and methods: Sixty university students with forward head posture (aged between 19 and 24 years old) were recruited. Participants were allocated to either experimental or control group. The experimental group received a specific exercise program including postural correction, co-contraction of the cervical muscles and suboccipital muscle stretching, 7 days a week for 4 weeks. The control group continued with their normal daily routine. The outcome measures were the craniocervical (CV) angle, sagittal head tilt (SH) angle, cervical joint position error (JPE), and postural sway during narrow stance with eyes open and closed. The outcomes were measured at baseline and 4 weeks after intervention.
Results: The results showed that the CV angle and JPEs in rotation to the left and right sides were improved significantly in the experimental group compared to the control group after the exercise program (p<0.05). The CV angle, SH angle and JPEs before and after the exercise program were significantly found in the experimental group (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in the total sway area between groups and within group (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The results of this study suggested the 4-week exercise program (postural correction, co-contraction of the cervical muscles and suboccipital muscles stretching) was effective for improving the head and cervical posture and joint position sense.
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