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December 2016

Effects of aging on mechanical properties of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles during transition from lying to sitting position — A cross-sectional study

P. Kocur, M. Grzeskowiak, M. Wiernicka, M. Goliwas, J. Lewandowski, D. Lochynski
Department of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Physical Education, Poland
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Volume 70, May–June 2017) (DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2016.12.005)

Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of aging on the viscoelastic properties of the upper trapezius (UT) and the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle during transition from lying to sitting position.

Materials and methods
The study included 39 older (mean age 67 ± 5.9 years) and 36 younger (21.1 ± 1.8 years) women. Tone, stiffness and elasticity of the UT and the SCM were measured by means of myotonometry (MyotonPRO) in lying and then, in sitting position. The results were compared using two-way analysis of variance.

Results
Irrespective of the position, older women presented with significantly higher muscle tone, stiffness and elasticity than younger subjects (P < 0.05). In both groups, the transition from lying to sitting position resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in the tone and stiffness, but not the elasticity (P > 0.05) of the SCM, and stimulated an increase in the tone, stiffness and elasticity of the UT (P < 0.05). The degree of changes in both study groups was similar, except from the absolute value of the UT elasticity, significantly higher increase in older women than in younger subjects (P < 0.05).

Age contributes to an increase in the stiffness and tone of the UT and the SCM, as well as to a decrease in the elasticity of these muscles in female subjects. In contrast, age exerts only a slight effect on the mechanical properties of both muscles during transition from lying to sitting position.

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