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Effect of thrust versus non-thrust mobilization directed at the thoracic spine in patients with mechanical neck pain: A randomized control trial

Harihara Prakash R, Jigar Mehta, Disha Patel.


Background: Neck pain (NP) is a major public health problem, both in terms of personal health and overall well-being as well as indirect expenses. Recently, published clinical practice guidelines suggest that the combination of manual therapy and therapeutic exercise is effective in patients with mechanical NP. One approach to conservative treatment of NP includes cervical mobilization, but it causes complications such as vertebra-basilar artery injury and paraplegia. Alternatively, thoracic spine thrust manipulation may effectively address mechanical NP.

Aim and Objective: This study aims to compare the effect of thrust versus non-thrust mobilization of the thoracic spine in patients with mechanical NP.

Materials and Methods: Seventy-five participants participated with 38 in Group 1 and 37 in Group 2. Group 1 received thrust mobilization whereas Group 2 received non-thrust mobilization. Outcomes were measured in the form of the numerical rating scale and neck disability index pre-intervention, immediately after treatment, and after 5 days of intervention.

Results: Data were analyzed using paired and unpaired “t-test” and results showed that there was a significant improvement in both outcomes immediately and after 5 days of intervention in both groups. However, the greater improvement was seen in Group 1 compared to Group 2.

Conclusion: It is concluded that thrust and non-thrust mobilizations of the thoracic spine are effective in patients with NP but thrust mobilization is more effective.

Key words: Thrust Mobilization; Non-Thrust Mobilization; Thoracic Spine; Mechanical Neck Pain

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