Does a single thrust manipulation of the upper thoracic spine increase neck range of motion?
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Citation:Sharples, L. (2010). Does a single thrust manipulation of the upper thoracic spine increase neck range of motion? A research project submitted in partial requirement for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1423
This study examined the effect of thrust manipulation (HVLA, high velocity low amplitude manipulation) of the upper thoracic spine (T1-T4 segments) on active cervical spine range of motion (CROM). Cervical flexion-extension, rotation right and left range of motion was measured pre- and post intervention using an electrogoniometer. Asymptomatic participants (n=22; n=10 males; n=12 females) were recruited using convenience sampling. Eleven participants were randomly assigned to the experimental group (EG) and eleven to the control group (CG). Prior to receiving the allocated intervention the cervical and upper thoracic spine of each participant was examined for the presence of somatic dysfunction by a registered osteopath. The EG received an upper thoracic manipulation and the CG received a “sham wind up” to the same region (T1 –T4). Paired t-tests were used to analyze within-group changes in cervical rotation, flexion and extension. Increased cervical rotation in one direction (right), and flexion was observed following a thoracic thrust manipulation for the EG, demonstrating mean (SD) increase in right rotation of 7.09 degrees (a ‘moderate’ effect) and 4.30 degrees (a ‘moderate’ effect) for flexion. This study supports the view that spinal thrust manipulation applied to the upper thoracic spine (T1-T4) may alter C ROM in asymptomatic participants.