Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of scapulothoracic (ST) mobilization plus physical therapy (PT) with PT alone in patients with mechanical neck pain.
Methods: This double-blinded randomized clinical trial was conducted at Shiraz School of Rehabilitation Sciences and involved 46 patients with mechanical neck pain and scapular dyskinesia. The patients were randomly assigned to the ST mobilization + PT group (scapulothoracic mobilization and physical therapy) or the PT group (physical therapy treatment) by a computer-generated randomized table of numbers. Both groups received 5 sessions of treatment during 1 week. Pain intensity and grip strength were evaluated 3 times: baseline, after the first session, and after the fifth session. Furthermore, functional disability of the upper limbs and the neck were evaluated before and at the fifth session.
Results: The results showed that the pain intensity was reduced and grip strength increased significantly after the first session (P = .01) and at the end of the treatment (P = .01) in the ST mobilization + PT group in comparison with the PT group. Also, the mean difference of upper limb (P = .01) and neck disability (P = .02) decreased significantly in the ST mobilization + PT group in comparison with the PT group.
Conclusion: Scapulothoracic mobilization in combination with physical therapy may be superior to physical therapy alone in reducing pain intensity, maximizing grip strength, and reducing upper limb and neck disability in mechanical neck pain.
Author keywords: Scapula; Neck Pain; Disability Evaluation
Author affiliations: Physiotherapy Department, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, c, Fars, Iran
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