Starting Position

Head level, looking straight ahead.

Ending position

Chin in line with each shoulder.

Clinical Significance

Normal neck rotation is about 60, but may be close to 90 in some individuals.

Although the extent of motion is usually best checked with passive motion (to exclude loss of motion due to motor failure), many physicians are reluctant to test head and neck motion passively–it’s too reminiscent of something from pro wrestling (ie, potentially harmful!)

The atlanto-occipital joint is responsible for approximately 50% of neck rotation; the rest is distributed among the lower vertebrae.

Limitations here could be from generalized arthritis, scoliosis or pain due to cervical nerve root compression.