Journal article

Mobility, muscular strength and endurance in the cervical spine in Swedish air force pilots

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Author list: Alricsson, Marie;Schüldt, Kristina

Publication year: 2001

Start page: 336

End page: 342

Number of pages: 7

ISSN: 0095-6562


Abstract

PURPOSE: Muscle strength, endurance and range of movement of the cervical spine in a group of Swedish Air Force jet pilots (AF) and in a reference group of conscripts doing their military service (RG) were compared. METHODS: We tested 30 (AF) 24-42 yr and 33 (RG) 19-22 yr. A questionnaire was used to document complaints. Maximum voluntary isometric muscle strength of the flexor and extensor muscles of the cervical spine and sub-maximum isometric endurance in the flexor and extensor muscles were measured. RESULTS: Eleven AF (37%) and four RG (12%) had experienced discomfort in the neck within the previous year. The pilots flexor and extensor muscle strength (47 Nm and 65 Nm) was superior to that of the conscripts (36 Nm and 59 Nm) (p = 0.0001, p = < 0.05, respectively). However, the RG group had greater isometric endurance in the flexor muscles than AF (p = < 0.05) and greater neck rotation (p = <0.005). There was no difference between the two groups in the other variables. CONCLUSION: Differences between the groups with regard to muscle strength and endurance might depend on variations in work-related physical muscle strain, and/or differences in fiber composition in the muscles, which might be reflected by pilot selection procedures.


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