Risk assessment of the cervical spine prior to manual therapy interventions is currently a highly debated topic, highlighted by recent suggestions in the medical press (http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3679), that manipulative therapy should be abandoned due to the perceived risk. The authors wrote this paper to address the issue of manual therapists using blood pressure measurement as an aid to clinical reasoning and decision making. They use a case series of three neuromusculoskeletal presentations, which support the assertion that blood pressure recording can prove itself an applicable objective test for assessment prior to manual therapy interventions. What’s more, it suggests that blood pressure testing could offer direction for risk assessment and/or the management of patients across all populations and age groups as part of a holistic ‘vascular profiling’ approach to clinical reasoning and decision making.
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.