The effects of spinal mobilization with arm movements on shoulder muscle strengthening

This study was undertaken to investigate the immediate effects of spinal mobilization with arm movements (SMWAMs) for strengthening the shoulder muscles. The subjects of this study were 12 healthy male students who were studying at S University, Busan City. They had no musculoskeletal disease, or upper congenital malformation, and had no history of surgery or neurological disease. The SMWAMs were performed on the 4th cervical vertebra (C4). For stimulation of the 5th cervical nerve, the spinous process of the C4 was pushed to the left and held in place. Then the arm was abducted to the point where spinous process was felt, and the range of abduction was examined. Subsequently, the abduction movement was repeated 10 times to the same point, and the gliding of C4 was held until the arm returned to the starting position. During the treatment, the head and the trunk were held in the correct posture. [Results] After SMWAMs had been performed, the muscular strength of shoulder flexion, extension and adduction was increased substantially.

In our opinion, the SMWAMs are a very useful technique for correcting spinal malalignment, and for stimulating the joint mechanoreceptors without the risks of manipulation. SMWAM is a valuable therapy method that can compliment the demerits of mobilization.