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The Effect of Manipulation and Mobilisation on Pressure Pain Thresholds in the Thoracic Spine

Fryer, Gary, Carub, Joanne and McIver, S (2004) The Effect of Manipulation and Mobilisation on Pressure Pain Thresholds in the Thoracic Spine. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 7 (1). pp. 8-14. ISSN 1443-8461

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High velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust manipulation and mobilisation are commonly used by manual therapists to relieve spinal pain and improve mobility. The aim of this controlled, single blinded study was to investigate the effect of manipulation and mobilisation on pressure-pain thresholds (PPT) in the thoracic spine in an asymptomatic population. Subjects (N=96) were screened for tender thoracic segments, and PPT measurements were made using an electronic pressure algometer immediately before and after treatment intervention. Subjects were randomly allocated into three intervention groups, and received either a single high velocity extension thrust, thirty seconds of extension mobilisation, or thirty seconds of sham treatment (control) consisting of ‘laser acupuncture’. Within-group pre and post-intervention PPT values were analysed using dependent t-tests, revealing significant changes in the mobilisation (p<0.01) and manipulation (p=0.04) groups, but not the sham treatment group (p=0.88). Analysis of mean group changes with a one-way ANOVA and post-hoc analysis revealed a significant difference between the mobilisation and control group (p=0.01), but no significant difference between the manipulation and control group (p=0.67). Pre-post effect sizes in the mobilisation group were medium to large (d=0.72), small to medium for manipulation (d=0.32), and small in the control group (d=0.02). Both manipulation and mobilisation produced significantly increased PPTs (decreased sensitivity to pressure) in the thoracic spine, whereas the sham treatment did not. Mobilisation appeared to be more effective than manipulation for increasing PPTs when applied to the thoracic spine in asymptomatic subjects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: manipulation, mobilisation, pain, algometry, osteopathy
Subjects: RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:38
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