Content » Vol 46, Issue 7

Original report

A speckle tracking application of ultrasound to evaluate activity of multilayered cervical muscles

Ross van der Werff, Shaun O'Leary, Gwendolen Jull, Michael Peolsson, Johan Trygg, Anneli Peolsson
NHMRC CCRE (Spinal Pain, Injury and Health), The University of Queensland, 4072 Brisbane, QLD, Australia
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1822


Objective: To evaluate the capacity of the ultrasound-based method of speckle tracking analysis to detect changes in multilayered dorsal neck muscle activity induced by performing a lifting task.
Subjects: Twenty-one healthy individuals.
Design: Participants performed a loaded lifting task in 3 different postural orientations of the neck (neutral, flexed and forward head posture). Ultrasound images were recorded and speckle tracking analysis was used to quantify muscle deformation and deformation rate over 3 equal time-periods during the lifting sequence (rest, mid-lift and end-lift).
Results: Significant main effects of postural orientation for the deformation measure (p < 0.05) and time for the deformation rate measure (p < 0.05) were observed in all dorsal muscles examined. Significant time by postural interactions for the deformation measure were observed in the trapezius, semispinalis cervicis and multifidus (p < 0.05) and in the semispinalis cervicis (p < 0.05) for the deformation rate measure.
Conclusion: Speckle tracking analysis ultrasound measurements can detect differences in multilayered muscle activity of the dorsal neck induced by postural variations during a lifting task. Findings for the deformation and the deformation rate measures suggest that they quantify a different, albeit related, mechanical event during muscle contraction in a functional task such as lifting.

Lay Abstract


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