Immediate Increases in Neck Strength Using Customized Mouth Guard: Gender Differences

dc.contributor.authorGobert, Denise V.
dc.descriptionThis study used a Cohort Comparison Research design to explore gender differences in immediate cervical spine muscle strength to optimal interocclusal alignment of the mandible using a customized mouth guard.
dc.description.abstractPurpose: The purpose of our study is to investigate gender differences in immediate muscle response to realigning the jaw using a customized mouth guard.   Background: Decreased neck strength is a predictor for sport-related concussions (SRC). Females are not only more susceptible for SRC, but they have less neck strength compared to males. However, there is mixed evidence about the efficacy of neck strengthening protocols in females. There is a current need to augment gender specific training programs or the addition of appliances that target neck strengthening in females. Realigning the jaw is theorized to increase cervical spine stability, which could positively affect optimal cervical muscle length-tension relationships, and therefore, cervical strength. Methods: A total of 31 adults (13 females, 18 males) participated in this preliminary study. Overall neck and trunk function were assessed using standardized questionnaires and outcome measures. Isometric cervical muscle strength, cervical muscle endurance, and grip strength were measured with and without the customized mouth guard. Descriptive statistics were performed using SPSS vs 26 (IBM, Inc). Additionally, a two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to explore gender and condition (with/without mouth guard) differences. Alpha level was p = 0.05.   Results: Female participants showed overall lower neck strength, endurance, and grip strength with and without the mouth guard compared to males. However, both genders increased their strength and endurance, with repeated measures indicating the mouth guard as the overall indicator for the improvements (p < 0.05).  Conclusions: Preliminary findings strongly suggest that the use of a customized mouth guard is a beneficial tool to immediately increase neck strength and endurance in both genders. However, the addition of a customized mouth guard to neck strengthening protocols could be needed more with females to improve neck strength and therefore decrease the risk of sport-related concussions.
dc.description.departmentPhysical Therapy
dc.description.sponsorshipTexas State University
dc.format.extent1 page
dc.format.medium1 file (.pdf)
dc.identifier.citationGobert, D. V. (2024). Immediate increases in neck strength using customized mouth guard: Gender differences.
dc.subjectneck strength
dc.subjectmouth guard
dc.subjectgender differences
dc.titleImmediate Increases in Neck Strength Using Customized Mouth Guard: Gender Differences


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