The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of thoracic spine thrust mobilization/manipulation with that of nonthrust mobilization/manipulation in patients with a primary complaint of mechanical neck pain. After the baseline evaluation subjects were randomly assigned to receive either thoracic spine thrust or nonthrust mobilization/manipulation. The subjects were reexamined 2 to 4 days after the initial examination. Sixty patients with a mean age of 43.3 years satisfied the eligibility criteria and agreed to participate in the study. Subjects who received thrust mobilization/manipulation experienced greater reductions in disability and in pain. Subjects in the thrust mobilization/manipulation group exhibited significantly higher scores on the GROC Scale at the time of follow-up. No differences in the frequencies, durations, and types of side effects existed between the groups. The authors conclude that the results suggest that thoracic spine thrust mobilization/manipulation results in significantly greater short-term reductions in pain and disability than does thoracic nonthrust mobilization/manipulation in people with neck pain.
Physical Therapy, Vol. 87, No. 4, April 2007, pp. 431-440