PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to apply dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) to subjects with forward head posture (FHP) and to compare its effects on respiratory function as against the conventional neck stabilization exercise and neck stretching and extensor strengthening exercises.
METHODS: The whole-body posture measurement system was used to measure the degree of FHP, and a spirometer and a respiratory gas analyzer were used to measure the respiratory function. After the intervention was completed, the changes over time were analyzed in the DNS group, the neck stabilization exercise group, and the neck stretching and extensor strengthening exercise group. The inter-group difference in the changes was also analyzed. A repeated ANOVA was performed to compare the respiratory function according to the period between the three groups, and the least significant difference (LSD) method was used for the post hoc test.
RESULTS: After the 6-week exercise period, respiratory functions, such as forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume for 1 second (FEV1), forced expiratory volume for 1 sec/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), maximum oxygen intake (VO₂max), and the volume of expired gas (VE), significantly improved according to the period (p < .05), but no inter-group differences were found.
CONCLUSION: DNS is an effective training method, and can be applied along with neck stabilization exercise and neck stretching and extensor strengthening exercises, which are widely used in clinical practice, to people with FHP who cannot directly perform neck exercises to improve their respiratory function.