OBJECTIVE: To study changes in active cervical range of motion after spinal manipulation of the cervical spine.
DESIGN: A double-blind randomized controlled trial at the outpatient clinic Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
METHODS: One hundred five patients with cervicogenic headache were randomized into 2 groups. After a baseline observation period, Group 2 received manipulation (toggle recoil) to the cervical spine, whereas Group 1 received sham manipulation. In the next trial phase, Group 1 received manipulation, whereas Group 2 received no treatment. This was followed by the final trial phase, in which Group 2 received sham manipulation and Group 1 received no treatment. After each trial phase, active range of cervical motion was measured with a strap-on head goniometer by 2 blinded examiners.
RESULTS: After receiving spinal manipulation, active range of motion in the cervical spine increased significantly (P < .0006) in Group 2 compared with Group 1, and this difference between the treatment groups disappeared after the third trial phase in which Group 1 also received manipulation, as expected.
CONCLUSION: Spinal manipulation of the cervical spine increases active range of motion.
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