Objective: To determine the level of neck strength decrement and the rate of strength recovery of the neck muscles after a single bout of specific neck conditioning exercise in both males and females. Hypothesis: A decrement in neck strength may be evident after a bout of strengthening exercise. Design: Intervention study with pre-and-post design. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Twenty healthy participants (10 male and 10 female, mean ± standard deviation age 22 ± 1.2 years). Main Outcome Measures: Participants performed a single bout of neck strengthening exercise. Neck strength testing using an isokinetic dynamometer was performed pre and at five time points (1 h, one, three, five and seven days) post-exercise to assess the level of neck strength decrement and neck strength recovery rate from pre-exercise levels. Results: Statistically significant (p ≥ 0.036) decreases in neck extension strength were recorded in all participants 1 h and one day post-exercise. The level of neck extension strength returned to pre-exercise levels three days post-exercise and surpassed pre-exercise levels five and seven days post-exercise. The male participants' neck flexion strength decrement and recovery followed a similar pattern to that displayed in neck extension but more variability in neck flexion strength recovery rates were recorded in the female participants in this study. Conclusion: The consistent strength recovery times for the male participants recorded in this study idealise the prescription of neck strengthening exercises in a periodised fashion. More investigation needs to be instigated for the female neck musculature as consistent strength recovery rates were not identified in this study.
- Neck injury