Cervical arterial dysfunction and manual therapy: A critical literature review to inform professional practice

Roger Kerry, Alan J. Taylor, Jeanette Mitchell and Chris McCarthy

This paper presents a critical, re-examination of relevant literature with the aim of providing a contemporary, evidence-informed review of key areas regarding the neurovascular risks of cervical spine manual therapy.

From a consideration of case reviews and surveys, haemodynamic principles, and blood flow studies, the authors suggest that: (1) it is currently impossible to meaningfully estimate the size of the risk of post-treatment complications; (2) existing testing procedures have limited clinical utility; and (3) a consideration of the association between pre-existing vascular risk factors, combined with a system based approach to cervical arterial haemodynamics (inclusive of the carotid system), may assist manual therapists in identifying at-risk patients.

Manual Therapy, 2008, 13(4), 278-288

Link to Abstract

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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