Thoracic spine manipulation has become a popular alternative to local cervical manipulative therapy for mechanical neck pain. This study investigates the acute effects of single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulations on chronic mechanical neck pain (CMNP). At 24-hour and 1-week follow-up, neck disability and pain levels were significantly (P<0.05) better in the STM and MTM groups in comparison to the control group. CROM in flexion and left lateral flexion were increased significantly (P<0.05) in the STM group when compared with the control group at 1-week follow-up. The CROM in right rotation was increased significantly after MTM in comparison to the control group (P<0.05) at 24-hour follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences in neck disability, pain level at rest, and CROM between the STM and MTM groups.
These results indicate that both single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulation improve neck disability, pain levels, and CROM at 24-hour and 1-week follow-up in patients with CMNP.