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Activation of Neck and Low-Back Muscles Is Reduced with the Use of a Neck Balance System Together with a Lumbar Support in Urban Drivers.

Menotti F, Labanca L, Laudani L, Giombini A, Pigozzi F, Macaluso A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: RMS of the low back muscles was lower with than without devices during both acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle (1.40±0.93% vs 29 2.32±1.90% and 1.88±1.45% vs 2.91±2.33%, respectively), while RMS of neck extensor muscles was reduced only during acceleration (5.18±1.96% vs 5.91±2.16%).There were no differences between the two conditions in RMS of neck flexor muscles, the pitch of the head and the VAS score.The use of these two ergonomic devices is therefore effective in reducing the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving with no changes in the level of perceived comfort, which is likely due to rebalancing weight on the neck and giving a neutral position to lumbar segments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Driving is associated with high activation of low-back and neck muscles due to the sitting position and perturbations imposed by the vehicle. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of a neck balance system together with a lumbar support on the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving. Twelve healthy male subjects (age 32±6.71 years) were asked to drive in two conditions: 1) with devices; 2) without devices. During vehicle accelerations and decelerations root mean square (RMS) of surface electromyography (sEMG) was recorded from the erector spinae, semispinalis capitis and sternocleidomastoid muscles and expressed as a percentage of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The pitch of the head was obtained by means of an inertial sensor placed on the subjects' head. A visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess the level of perceived comfort. RMS of the low back muscles was lower with than without devices during both acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle (1.40±0.93% vs 29 2.32±1.90% and 1.88±1.45% vs 2.91±2.33%, respectively), while RMS of neck extensor muscles was reduced only during acceleration (5.18±1.96% vs 5.91±2.16%). There were no differences between the two conditions in RMS of neck flexor muscles, the pitch of the head and the VAS score. The use of these two ergonomic devices is therefore effective in reducing the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving with no changes in the level of perceived comfort, which is likely due to rebalancing weight on the neck and giving a neutral position to lumbar segments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental position for recording maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of low-back muscles (A) and neck extensor and flexor muscles (B).
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pone.0141031.g001: Experimental position for recording maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of low-back muscles (A) and neck extensor and flexor muscles (B).

Mentions: Before the driving trials, all subjects were asked to attend the laboratory for the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) recordings: for the MVC of the back extensor muscles participants were instructed to extend the back while lying in a prone position fastened with a belt (Fig 1, panel A) in order to perform an isometric contraction; similarly, for the MVC of the neck extensor muscles participants were asked to extend the neck against the headrest of a seat. For the MVC of the neck flexor muscles they were asked to flex the neck while the head was stabilized by a belt (Fig 1, panel B). During each MVC participants were verbally encouraged to achieve a maximum and maintain it for at least 2–3 s before relaxing [10,11]. Three MVC attempts were performed, separated by 5 min.


Activation of Neck and Low-Back Muscles Is Reduced with the Use of a Neck Balance System Together with a Lumbar Support in Urban Drivers.

Menotti F, Labanca L, Laudani L, Giombini A, Pigozzi F, Macaluso A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Experimental position for recording maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of low-back muscles (A) and neck extensor and flexor muscles (B).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4608778&req=5

pone.0141031.g001: Experimental position for recording maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of low-back muscles (A) and neck extensor and flexor muscles (B).
Mentions: Before the driving trials, all subjects were asked to attend the laboratory for the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) recordings: for the MVC of the back extensor muscles participants were instructed to extend the back while lying in a prone position fastened with a belt (Fig 1, panel A) in order to perform an isometric contraction; similarly, for the MVC of the neck extensor muscles participants were asked to extend the neck against the headrest of a seat. For the MVC of the neck flexor muscles they were asked to flex the neck while the head was stabilized by a belt (Fig 1, panel B). During each MVC participants were verbally encouraged to achieve a maximum and maintain it for at least 2–3 s before relaxing [10,11]. Three MVC attempts were performed, separated by 5 min.

Bottom Line: RMS of the low back muscles was lower with than without devices during both acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle (1.40±0.93% vs 29 2.32±1.90% and 1.88±1.45% vs 2.91±2.33%, respectively), while RMS of neck extensor muscles was reduced only during acceleration (5.18±1.96% vs 5.91±2.16%).There were no differences between the two conditions in RMS of neck flexor muscles, the pitch of the head and the VAS score.The use of these two ergonomic devices is therefore effective in reducing the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving with no changes in the level of perceived comfort, which is likely due to rebalancing weight on the neck and giving a neutral position to lumbar segments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Driving is associated with high activation of low-back and neck muscles due to the sitting position and perturbations imposed by the vehicle. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of a neck balance system together with a lumbar support on the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving. Twelve healthy male subjects (age 32±6.71 years) were asked to drive in two conditions: 1) with devices; 2) without devices. During vehicle accelerations and decelerations root mean square (RMS) of surface electromyography (sEMG) was recorded from the erector spinae, semispinalis capitis and sternocleidomastoid muscles and expressed as a percentage of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The pitch of the head was obtained by means of an inertial sensor placed on the subjects' head. A visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess the level of perceived comfort. RMS of the low back muscles was lower with than without devices during both acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle (1.40±0.93% vs 29 2.32±1.90% and 1.88±1.45% vs 2.91±2.33%, respectively), while RMS of neck extensor muscles was reduced only during acceleration (5.18±1.96% vs 5.91±2.16%). There were no differences between the two conditions in RMS of neck flexor muscles, the pitch of the head and the VAS score. The use of these two ergonomic devices is therefore effective in reducing the activation of low-back and neck muscles during driving with no changes in the level of perceived comfort, which is likely due to rebalancing weight on the neck and giving a neutral position to lumbar segments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus