Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 623
  Title The effect of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) on pain reduction and range of motion in patients with acute unilateral neck pain: a pilot study
Journal J Can Chiropr Assoc. 1999 Jun;43(2):111-119
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes Objective:

This experiment evaluated the response of acute neck pain patients to an intervention utilizing a single manipulation to either a) the same side of pain (ipsilateral) or b) opposite side (contralateral) and compared the results to a placebo group.


In this pre-test — post-test study, 36 subjects were randomly allocated to one of the three groups:

(1) SMT applied to the same side as the pain (ipsilateral)

(2) SMT applied to the side opposite the pain (contralateral)

(3) A placebo group receiving only detuned ultrasound therapy

Subjects: In a private chiropractic office, patients with acute unilateral neck pain and stiffness were studied. Inclusion criteria included the presence of acute unilateral neck pain, no prior similar history, no history of trauma, and no neurological deficit. Subjects had no previous chiropractic treatment of the cervical spine.


Patients in the two manipulation groups received a single cervical manipulation. Patients in the placebo group received detuned ultrasound therapy over the area of pain.

Main Outcome Measures:

There were two outcome measures. Pain intensity was rated on the 100 mm. visual analog scale (VAS) prior to and immediately following the intervention. Pre and Post test measurements of cervical spine range of motion utilizing the CROM instrument were also taken.


Degrees of ipsilateral lateral flexion, contralateral flexion, and VAS improved when ipsilateral versus contralateral spinal manipulative therapy was applied.


Immediately following a single manipulation to acute neck pain patients there is less pain intensity and a greater range of motion when spinal manipulative therapy is applied to the side of neck pain versus manipulation on the side opposite the pain or to a placebo group.

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full access.

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