pISSN 2288-6982
eISSN 2288-7105



Original Article

Phys. Ther. Korea 2021; 28(2): 138-145

Published online May 20, 2021

© Korean Research Society of Physical Therapy

Immediate Effects of Roller Massage for Posterior Neck Muscles on the Muscle Strength and Range of Motion for Cranio-Cervical Flexion in Subjects With Forward Head Posture

Seung-tak Kang1 , BPT, PT, Jang-hun Jung2 , BPT, PT, Oh-yun Kwon3 , PhD, PT

1Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 2Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul, 3Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Laboratory of Kinetic Ergocise Based on Movement Analysis, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea

Correspondence to: Oh-yun Kwon

Received: January 5, 2021; Revised: January 19, 2021; Accepted: February 24, 2021


Background: Forward head posture (FHP) causes various posture imbalances associated with the head and neck. Myofascial release is an effective treatment method used for relaxing muscles and reducing muscle hyperactivity, but no studies have been conducted on suboccipital and neck muscles related to FHP.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effect of roller massages on the cranio-cervical flexion (CCF) range of motion (ROM) and CCF strength applied to suboccipital and neck muscles in subject with forward head posture.
Methods: Twenty-four FHP subjects (male: 13, female: 11) were recruited for this study. All subjects were recruited with a craniovertebral angle (CVA) of 53 degrees or less and a head tilt angle (HTA) of 20.66 degrees or higher. CCF strength was measured using Pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) in the supine posture and CCF ROM was measured using smartphone-based inclinometer. Roller massage (RM) was applied to suboccipital and neck muscles for 2 minutes and CCF ROM and strength were remeasured.
Results: These results of this study showed that CCF ROM was a significant difference in CCF ROM before and after RM (p < 0.05). CCF strength also showed a significant difference before and after RM (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: RM method might be recommended to increase the immediate ROM and strength of CCF in subjects with forward head posture.

Keywords: Cranio-cervical flexion, Forward head posture, Roller massage, Suboccipital release