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To determine the effectiveness of the Rapid Form Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer in controlling the cervical spine movements of a football player wearing shoulder pads and a helmet.
We used a 1-group, repeated-measures experimental design to radiographically assess cervical spine range of motion with and without the Rapid Form Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer. Two experimental conditions (with and without vacuum splint) were applied to 10 subjects in a repeated-measures design. Each subject was radiographed in cervical forward flexion, extension, and lateral flexion under each experimental condition.
Ten healthy male subjects without a history of cervical spine pathology or abnormality volunteered for this study.
Cervical forward flexion, extension, and lateral flexion range of motion were compared under both treatment conditions. Joint angles were determined by straightedge tangential lines drawn on the radiographs along the foramen magnum, inferior ring border of the atlas, and along the inferior tips of the 2nd through 7th vertebral bodies. The total range of motion was determined and compared with the treatment condition by multiple paired t tests.
The Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer limited cervical spine range of motion in forward flexion, extension, and lateral flexion. The secondary statistical analysis for the effect size determined that each group had a large effect size, indicating that the power of the experimental or vacuum splint group was high.
We found that the Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer limited cervical spine range of motion in forward flexion, extension, and lateral flexion. The Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer can be easily placed on an injured, fully equipped football player and serves to limit cervical spine range of motion while the athlete is immobilized and transported. Future research should determine how the Cervical Vacuum Immobilizer limits range of motion with the athlete immobilized to the spine board.