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The Effect of Directional Specific Thoracic Spine Mobilization on Cervical Spine Pain

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Steve Karas, Chatham University Identifier:
First received: August 2, 2013
Last updated: July 27, 2015
Last verified: August 2013

Hypothesis: There is no difference in directional specific manipulation of the thoracic spine for patients with neck pain.

Patients seeking physical therapy for neck pain routinely have their thoracic spine manipulated. This study seeks to determine if directional limitations in the spine can be specifically determined and treated to decrease neck pain.

Condition Intervention
Neck Pain Other: thoracic spine manipulation

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Directional Specific Thoracic Spine Mobilization on Cervial Spine Pain.

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Steve Karas, Chatham University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Neck Disability Index [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ]
    Objective, valid, reliable measure of function in patients with neck pain. Completed as a survey.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Neck Pain [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ]
    Selection of 0 to 10 level of pain.

Estimated Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: August 2013
Study Completion Date: January 2015
Primary Completion Date: January 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Matched Group
Receives thoracic spine manipulation in the direction of motion limitation.
Other: thoracic spine manipulation
a manual technique applied to the mid back to promote motion

Detailed Description:

Manipulation of the thoracic spine is the most commonly used manual therapy intervention by manual therapists. It is not known whether we can accurately assess and treat directional limitations in the thoracic spine to improve neck pain.

One way is to assess where the limitation is and treat it. Another method is to distract the joint. We want to know if matching the limitation to the manipulation method will give patients with neck pain better results.

The patient lays on their back. The therapist places a hand on the inferior vertebrae of the motion segment. The patient relaxes and the therapist pushes in an anterior to posterior direction either moving the vertebrae into flexion or entension.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with Neck Pain; ages 18 - 60

Exclusion Criteria:

  • red flags: leg weakness, night pain, history of cancer, upper motor neuron signs, infection, tumors, osteoporosis, fracture (Boissonnault, 2011) (Cleland, 2004) history of whiplash within 6 weeks, cervical stenosis, CNS involvement, signs consistent with nerve root compression, previous surgery, pending legal action
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01917071

United States, Pennsylvania
Chatham University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15221
Sponsors and Collaborators
Chatham University
Study Director: Steve A Karas, DSc, PT Chatham University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Steve Karas, Assistant Professor, Chatham University Identifier: NCT01917071     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Karasmatched
Study First Received: August 2, 2013
Last Updated: July 27, 2015

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neck Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 21, 2017