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Acute effects of single and multiple level thoracic manipulations on chronic mechanical neck pain: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Puntumetakul R, Suvarnnato T, Werasirirat P, Uthaikhup S, Yamauchi J, Boucaut R

Received 17 June 2014

Accepted for publication 4 September 2014

Published 12 January 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 137—144


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Rungthip Puntumetakul,1,2 Thavatchai Suvarnnato,1,3 Phurichaya Werasirirat,1 Sureeporn Uthaikhup,2 Junichiro Yamauchi,4,5 Rose Boucaut6

1School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, 2Research Center in Back, Neck, Other Joint Pain and Human Performance, 3Physical Therapy Unit, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; 4Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 5Future Institute for Sport Sciences, Tokyo, Japan; 6School of Health Sciences (Physiotherapy), University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Background: Thoracic spine manipulation has become a popular alternative to local cervical manipulative therapy for mechanical neck pain. This study investigated the acute effects of single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulations on chronic mechanical neck pain (CMNP).
Methods: Forty-eight patients with CMNP were randomly allocated to single-level thoracic manipulation (STM) at T6–T7 or multiple-level thoracic manipulation (MTM), or to a control group (prone lying). Cervical range of motion (CROM), visual analog scale (VAS), and the Thai version of the Neck Disability Index (NDI-TH) scores were measured at baseline, and at 24-hour and at 1-week follow-up.
Results: At 24-hour and 1-week follow-up, neck disability and pain levels were significantly (P<0.05) improved in the STM and MTM groups compared with the control group. CROM in flexion and left lateral flexion were increased significantly (P<0.05) in the STM group when compared with the control group at 1-week follow-up. The CROM in right rotation was increased significantly after MTM compared to the control group (P<0.05) at 24-hour follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences in neck disability, pain level at rest, and CROM between the STM and MTM groups.
Conclusion: These results suggest that both single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulation improve neck disability, pain levels, and CROM at 24-hour and 1-week follow-up in patients with CMNP.

Keywords: thoracic manipulation, neck disability, pain level, neck pain

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