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Time to stabilisation of the cervical spine when supported by a pillow in side lying

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Currently, there is little information to guide consumers, retailers and health professionals about the length of time it takes for the cervical spine to stabilise when resting on a pillow. The aim of this study was to determine the time required to achieve stabilisation of the cervical spine when supported by a polyester pillow and innerspring mattress in side lying. Twenty-four asymptomatic females rested in a standardised side lying position during the capture of 3D data from markers placed over cervical landmarks. Time to stabilisation was assessed for each axis, each landmark and globally for each participant. A large variation in global stabilisation times was identified between participants; however, 70.8% of participants had stabilised by 15 min or earlier. Fifteen minutes is the best estimate of the time to stabilisation of the cervical spine for young females in a side lying position when resting on a polyester pillow.

Practitioner Summary: This study aimed to determine the time required to achieve stabilisation of the cervical spine when supported by a polyester pillow and innerspring mattress in side lying. Through a laboratory study using 3D VICON® motion analysis technology, we identified that 70.8% of participants had stabilised by 15 min.
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Keywords: VICON® Nexus; cervical spine; motion analysis; pillow; stabilisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Discipline of Physiotherapy, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 2: Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 3: Anton Breinl Centre, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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