Nasal patency and craniocervical posture in scholar children

ABSTRACT Changes in head posture have been observed as a compensatory mechanism for the nasal airflow impairment. This study aimed to compare the craniocervical posture between children with normal and decreased nasal patency and correlate nasal patency with craniocervical posture. Children aging from six to twelve years went through nasal patency and craniocervical assessments. The biophotogrammetric measures of craniocervical posture used were Cervical Distance (CD), Head Horizontal Alignment (HHA) and Flexion-Extension Head Position (FE), evaluated by SAPO software (v.0.68). Nasal patency was measured using Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow meter (PNIF) and Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) scale. One hundred thirty-three children were distributed into two groups: G1 (normal nasal patency - PNIF higher than 80% of predicted value) with 90 children; G2 (decreased nasal patency - PNIF lower than 80% of predicted value) with 43 children. Differences between groups were not found in CD and HHA measures. FE was significantly higher in G2 than G1 (p=0.023). Negative weak correlation between FE and %PNIF (r=-0.266; p=0.002) and positive weak correlation between CD and PNIF (r=0.209; p=0.016) were found. NOSE scores negatively correlated with PNIF (r=-0.179; p=0.039). Children with decreased nasal patency presented greater head extension. This postural deviation is prone to increase as nasal airflow decreases, thus indicating the relationship between craniocervical posture and nasal patency. Lower values of PNIF reflected on additional problems caused by nasal obstruction symptoms.