Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of thoracic spinal manipulation (SM) on shoulder pain and ranges of motion in individuals with shoulder pain.
Methods: The sample was composed of 60 individuals, randomly allocated into the manipulation group (n = 30), who received the SM, and the placebo group (n = 30) who received a placebo manipulation. Pain evaluation was performed using the visual analog scale, and evaluation of shoulder flexion and abduction ranges of motion was assessed using a goniometer pre- and post-intervention. The intervention was performed by either upper thoracic SM or a placebo manipulation.
Results: The manipulation group demonstrated increased flexion and abduction of the painful shoulder (P < .01) and increased abduction of the nonpainful shoulder (P = .03), but only the abduction of the painful shoulder reached the minimal detectable change. The placebo group showed a post-intervention increase in the flexion (P = .03) and abduction (P < .01) movement of the painful shoulder. Both groups presented a statistically significant reduction in post-intervention pain (P < .01), but not clinically significant.
Conclusion: Although the SM demonstrated a statistically significant difference for shoulder pain, this was not over the clinically meaningful change. Only the abduction of the painful shoulder reached the minimal detectable change.
Author keywords: Manipulation, Spinal; Pain; Range of Motion, Articular; Shoulder; Shoulder Pain
Author affiliations: ADdaS, GMS, CMGM: Centre of Health and Sports Sciences, University of the State of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil; JLBM: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
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