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.