Mobilizations of the asymptomatic cervical spine can reduce signs of shoulder dysfunction in adults

Lynda McClatchie, Judi Laprade, Shelley Martin, Susan B. Jaglal, Denyse Richardson and Anne Agur

A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial was used to examine the immediate effects of cervical lateral glide mobilizations on pain intensity and shoulder abduction painful arc in subjects with shoulder pain. Twenty-one subjects received interventions of both cervical mobilization and placebo over two sessions. Pain intensity using a visual analog scale (VAS) and painful arc were assessed prior to and following application of cervical mobilization or placebo intervention. Evaluation of cervical mobilization revealed the shoulder abduction painful arc and shoulder pain intensity were significantly decreased.

The results of this study suggest that any immediate change in shoulder pain or active shoulder range of motion following cervical mobilizations indicate that treatment directed toward the asymptomatic cervical spine may expedite recovery.

Manual Therapy,2009, 14(4), 369-374

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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