The Effect of Thoracic Joint Mobilization and Self-stretching Exercise on Pulmonary Functions of Patients with Chronic Neck Pain

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of thoracic joint mobilization and self-stretching exercise on the pulmonary functions of individuals with chronic neck pain. The study was performed with 34 patients with chronic neck pain featuring thoracic kyphosis; they were seperated into a thoracic joint mobilization group (TJMG, n = 11), self-stretching exercise group (SSEG, n = 11), and thoracic joint mobilization and self-stretching exercise group (TJMSSEG, n = 12). Treatments and exercise were conducted three times a week for six weeks in TJMG, SSEG, and TJMSSEG; the subjects’ pulmonary functions in terms of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were measured using CardioTouch equipment. Comparisons of the individuals within each of the TJMG, SSEG, and TJMSSEG showed that all of FVC, FEV1, and PEF increased significantly; Comparisons within each of the showed that FVC, FEV1, and PEF increased significantly. Among the study groups, FVC was significantly higher in TJMSSEG than in TJMG after six weeks; FEV1 was significantly higher in TJMSSEG than in TJMG and SSEG after four and six weeks; and PEF was significantly higher in TJMSSEG than in TJMG and SSEG after six weeks.

The study results suggest that thoracic joint mobilization and self-stretching exercise are effective interventions for increasing FVC, FEV1, and PEF among pulmonary functions.

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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