Most of the research relating to neck injuries performed to date has been tested in environments with linear motions. Disabled individuals tend to experience jerky neck rotations during falls, bed transfers, and while travelling in wheelchairs. This thesis, using various signal processing techniques, studied how healthy neck muscles, the head and body react to jerky rotational motion. Electromyogram (EMG) and motion data were gathered from 20 subjects as they were rotated 45 degrees in the forward and backward pitch plane, with and without visual input, in a motion simulator.
Results showed that neck muscle behaviour was affected by the direction of motion and visual input. Maximum effective muscle power of 10.54% was reached, relative to maximum voluntary contractions (MVC). The factors found to influence neck muscle responses, such as head weight and visual input should be taken into consideration when designing headrests, neck braces and planning any rehabilitation programs.