Edmund M. Kosmahl, PT, EdD



NOTE: The position of the mouth influences the available range of cervical backward bending. With the mouth closed, thghtness of the infrahyoid and suprahyoid muscles can limit range of cervical backward bending. If you wish to assess the range of the cervical spine, the mouth should be relaxed and slightly open.

 cervical spine extension goniometry picture

Test Position
  • Subject sitting with lumbar and thoracic spines supported
  • Stabilize lumbar and thoracic spines
  • Mouth relaxed and slightly open
  • Extend cervical spine
Normal Range
  • 75.5o + or - 8.5o (20 - 29 yrs.), 70.5o + or - 17.5o (30 - 49 yrs.), 64.5o + or - 7o (>50 yrs.) (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • 75o (American Medical Association)
Goniometer Alignment
  • Axis external auditory meatus
  • Stationary arm vertical
  • Moving arm aligned with nostrils
Normal End Feel
  • Bony or Capsular

copyright 1999 E. Kosmahl