An investigation into the side of joint cavitation associated with cervical spine manipulation

Andrew Bolton, Robert W. Moran and Clive Standen

The purpose of this study was to determine which side of the cervical spine cavitates during application of two different manipulative thrust techniques. Twenty asymptomatic subjects each received two mid cervical HVLA thrust manipulations. Skin mounted microphones were positioned overlying the articular pillars at the level of C2 and sound wave signals were recorded and analysed. It was observed that for HVLA thrusts with a primary leverage of rotation the resulting cavitation was most likely to occur on the contralateral side to the applicator. For side bending thrusts, the resulting cavitation was no more likely to occur on the contralateral or ipsilateral sides.

This study indicates that clinicians using manipulative techniques can be more specific about the location of cavitational effects using rotational thrusts compared to side bending thrusts.

International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2007, 10(4), 88-96

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