BACKGROUND: Delivering a supine lateral break manipulation to the ipsilateral side of an inflamed facet joint(s) that exhibits a lateral flexion fixation may result in pain and/or discomfort to the patient. Thus the proposed alternative is a supine cervical rotary manipulation delivered on the ipsilateral side or a supine lateral break manipulation delivered on the contralateral side of the relevant joint(s).
DESIGN: Randomized, comparative clinical trial.
SUBJECTS: Two groups of 15 subjects diagnosed with mechanical neck pain.
INTERVENTION: The diagnosis of mechanical neck pain and the identification of lateral flexion fixations in the cervical spine were made with conventional clinical evaluation, including motion palpation. Group A received a cervical rotary manipulation(s) on the ipsilateral side of the lateral flexion fixation(s), while group B received a supine lateral break manipulation(s) on the contralateral side of the lateral flexion fixation(s). Subjects received a maximum of 10 treatments over a 4-week treatment period.
Outcome Measures: Both treatment groups were assessed with subjective (Numerical Pain Rating Scale 101, McGill Short-Form Pain Questionnaire and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College Neck Disability Index) and objective (cervical range of motion goniometer and algometer) measurement parameters at the initial consultation (before any treatment), the final consultation, and at a 1-month follow-up consultation. Statistical analysis was conducted at a 95% confidence level (alpha =.05) with the non-parametric 2-tailed Wilcoxon signed ranks test, the Mann-Whitney U test, and descriptive statistics. Two-tailed power analysis was conducted after the fact, where a confidence level of 80% (beta =.20) was considered satisfactory.
RESULTS: Intragroup analysis indicated a significant difference between the initial consultation data and the final consultation data for the subjective data, indicating an effect. Analysis of the objective data did not reveal any significant difference. Intergroup analysis did not reveal any significant difference between the 2 groups when comparing the data of the initial consultation and the final consultation, indicating that both treatments had a similar or equal effect. Power analysis was not satisfactory for most data, indicating the possibility of many Type II errors.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Statistically, the results suggested that both treatments had an effect but that neither group showed a benefit over the other. However, because of the unsatisfactory power of the study, conclusions are to be drawn with caution. Clinical significance supported the statistical outcomes where it was suggested that both treatments had an effect and that neither treatment had a greater effect. A larger sample size and the inclusion of a placebo group is recommended to reveal true treatment outcomes and trends.
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