Lasting changes in passive range motion after spinal manipulation: a randomized, blind, controlled trial

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. Mar-Apr 1996;19(3):165-8.


Purpose: To study whether a 3-wk series of spinal manipulation has any lasting effect on passive cervical range of motion.

Design: Randomized, controlled trial with a blind observer.

Setting: Ambulatory outpatient facility in an independent National Health Service funded chiropractic research institution.

Participants: Thirty-nine headache sufferers who, on entering the study, displayed objectively decreased passive cervical range of motion. These subjects were recruited from 400 headache sufferers who responded to newspaper advertisements.

Intervention: Half of the group received high-velocity, low-amplitude cervical manipulation twice a week for 3 wk. The other half received low-level laser in the upper cervical region and deep friction massage in the lower cervical/upper thoracic region, also twice a week for 3 wk.

Main outcome measure: Goniometrically assessed passive range of motion of the cervical spine.

Results: Although passive cervical range of motion increased in both groups during the trial period, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups 1 wk after the last treatment.

Conclusion: It seems that any changes in passive range of motion after spinal manipulation are of a temporary nature.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology*
  • Chiropractic / methods*
  • Female
  • Headache / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Spine