The immediate effects of manual stretching and cervicothoracic junction manipulation on cervical range of motion and upper trapezius pressure pain thresholds

William J. Hanney, Emilio J. Puentedura, Morey J. Kolber, Xinliang Liu, Patrick S. Pabian, Scott W. Cheatham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Myofascial pain is a common impairment treated with various manual interventions including spinal thrust manipulation and stretching; however, the comparative efficacy of each intervention is uncertain. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to evaluate thrust manipulation targeting the cervicothoracic junction compared to a manual stretch of the upper trapezius muscle on cervical range of motion and upper trapezius pressure pain thresholds (PPTs). METHODS: Healthy participants with no significant history of neck pain were randomized into a thrust manipulation group, a stretching group, or a control group. Within group differences were evaluated via a dependent t-test, and group by time interactions were evaluated by a two-way repeated measures ANOVA. RESULTS: One hundred and two participants were recruited to participate. Baseline demographics revealed no significant differences between groups. Significant group by time interactions were found for changes in PPTs for both the right and left upper trapezius. Also, significant differences were found for changes in cervical extension, as well as right and left cervical side bending favoring the treatment groups. DISCUSSION: This study demonstrates the potential independent effectiveness of spinal thrust manipulation or stretching for reducing PPTs at the upper trapezius. Future research should further evaluate the limitation of PPTs as a measure of muscle sensitivity as well as factors that may contribute to variability in the measurements among individuals seeking care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1013
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Algometry
  • pressure pain threshold
  • spinal manipulation
  • stretching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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