Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Cervical Vertebrae; Swimming


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in cervical rotation between unilateral breathers and bilateral breathers for freestyle swimmers. The sample consisted of 44 (23 males, 21 females) University of North Dakota Varsity swim team members. Among the swimmers there were 19 bilateral breathers, 21 right unilateral, and 4 left unilateral breathers. The CROM device was the tool used to measure cervical rotation. An ANOVA analysis showed no significant difference in right rotation (p=.6585) and total rotation (p=.0693) for any breathing style, however a significant difference existed for left rotation (p=.0078) between bilateral and right unilateral breathers. The female swimmers showed significantly more cervical rotation than their male counterparts (p<.01). There was no significant difference based on age (p>.5). Bilateral breathers showed a significant difference between right rotation and left rotation (p=.011), however right unilateral breathers showed no significance (p=.583). Even though left unilateral breathers showed a seven degree increase in left rotation when compared to right rotation, significance could not be established due to the small sample size. Therefore, asymmetrical cervical rotation in swimmers may not necessarily indicate a pathological finding and is important to take into consideration when determining a rehabilitation program for a swimmer with upper quadrant pathology. Additional research is needed to compare swimmers' varying swimming styles with range of motion measurements.