Sensors 2012, 12(12), 17463-17475; doi:10.3390/s121217463
Article

A New Concept for Quantifying the Complicated Kinematics of the Cervical Spine and Its Application in Evaluating the Impairment of Clients with Mechanical Neck Disorders

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan 2 Medical Device Innovation Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan 3 Department of Sports Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2012; in revised form: 7 December 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 17 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract: Mechanical neck disorder (MND) is one of the most common health issues and is characterized by restricted cervical mobility. However, traditional kinematic information often focuses on primary movement in the cardinal plane, which seems insufficient to fully determine the kinematics of the cervical spine because of the complexity of the anatomical structures involved. Therefore, the current investigation aimed to modify the concept of the three-dimensional workspace to propose an objective mathematical model to quantify the complicated kinematics of the cervical spine. In addition, the observation evaluated the characteristics of the cervical workspace in asymptomatic and MND groups. Seventeen healthy volunteers and twenty-five individuals with MND participated in the study and executed the motion of circumduction to establish the cervical workspace using an electromagnetic tracking system. The results produced a mathematical model to successfully quantify the cervical workspace. Moreover, MND groups demonstrated significant reduction in the normalization of the cervical workspace with respect to the length of the head-cervical complex. Accordingly, the current study provided a new concept for understanding the complicated kinematics of the cervical spine. The cervical workspace could be a useful index to evaluate the extent of impairment of the cervical spine and monitor the efficacy of rehabilitation programs for patients with MND.
Keywords: mechanical neck disorder; kinematics of cervical spine; cervical workspace; motion of cervical circumduction; electromagnetic tracking system

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, C.-C.; Su, F.-C.; Guo, L.-Y. A New Concept for Quantifying the Complicated Kinematics of the Cervical Spine and Its Application in Evaluating the Impairment of Clients with Mechanical Neck Disorders. Sensors 2012, 12, 17463-17475.

AMA Style

Yang C-C, Su F-C, Guo L-Y. A New Concept for Quantifying the Complicated Kinematics of the Cervical Spine and Its Application in Evaluating the Impairment of Clients with Mechanical Neck Disorders. Sensors. 2012; 12(12):17463-17475.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Chia-Chi; Su, Fong-Chin; Guo, Lan-Yuen. 2012. "A New Concept for Quantifying the Complicated Kinematics of the Cervical Spine and Its Application in Evaluating the Impairment of Clients with Mechanical Neck Disorders." Sensors 12, no. 12: 17463-17475.

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