Thoracic segmental flexion during cervical forward bending

Ira Fiebert, Takis Spyropoulos, Doug Peterman, Lisa Dotson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the amount of thoracic segmental flexion associated with cervical forward bending. Twenty-four healthy men and women between the ages of 21–29, with no past or present cervical or thoracic dysfunction, participated. Spinal segmental mobility in the thoracic region was measured in the neutralsitting position and sitting with the cervical spine in the forward bent position. Mobility was measured by the Faro Metrecom Skeletal Analysis System. The Faro Metrecom is an external measuring device that records each individual spinal segmentx0027;s positionwithin the body. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the position of the thoracic segments when the cervical region was in the neutral and in the forward bent positions. Additionally, intrarater reliability,.83 and.76, and interrater,.72, were analyzed for the thoracic segments in the neutral position. The results show that with cervical flexion there was thoracic segmental flexion. Segments T1–4 demonstrated forward bending ranging from 2·88–4·42°. The greatest amount of flexion occurred at T2, 4·42 degrees, and T3, 4·19 degrees. Below T4 nopattern was noted. The results indicate that upper-thoracic segmental flexion occurs during cervical forward bending. During evaluation and treatment of patients with cervical dysfunction physical therapists routinely evaluate spinal segmental mobility. It is clear to clinicians that cervical segmental mobility is important to cervical range of motion.What it not clear is the role of thoracic segmental mobility in cervical range ofmotion. Physical therapists frequently evaluate and treat the thoracic region when patients have cervical dysfunction. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the amount of thoracic segmental flexion associated with cervical forward bending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • Cervical dysfunction
  • Cervical forward bending
  • Thoracic segmental flexion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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