Comparative effectiveness of routine physical therapy with and without instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization in patients with neck pain due to upper crossed syndrome

J Pak Med Assoc. 2021 Oct;71(10):2304-2308. doi: 10.47391/JPMA.03-415.


Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of routine physical therapy with and without instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation on pain intensity and range of motion in patients with neck pain due to upper crossed syndrome.

Methods: The randomised controlled trial was conducted from January to March 2020, and comprised diagnosed male patients aged 18-40 years of upper crossed syndrome complaining of neck pain visiting the Agile Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Complex and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Bahawalpur, Pakistan. The subjects were randomised into control group A which received routine physical therapy and experimental group B which received instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization along with routine physical therapy. The inclinometer was used to measure range of motion and the numeric pain rating scale for pain measurement. Data was analysed using SPSS 22.

Results: Of the 60 subjects, there were 30(50%) in group A with a mean age of 31.50±6.388 years and 30(50%) in group B with a mean age of 32.60±5.55 years. Pain rating at baseline in group B compared to group A show significant difference (p=0.01). Neck range of motion, including flexion, neck right bending, and neck left bending showed significant differences between the groups (p<0.05). The results for neck extension showed that both techniques were equally effective (p>0.05).

Conclusions: Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation with combination of stretching exercises was found to be more effective in the management of neck pain in upper crossed syndrome compared to routine physical therapy.

Registration number: IRCT20190912044754N1.

Keywords: Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation, Neck pain, Range of motion, Upper crossed syndrome..

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage
  • Neck Pain* / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome