Effects of Thoracic Spine Mobilizations in Individuals With Neck Pain

Purpose and Objective

The purpose of this study is to determine the affects of Physical Therapists' clinical reasoning using thoracic spine mobilization for neck pain compared to a standard protocol. The research will compare the effects of two commonly used, safe, thoracic spine treatments: grade 1-4 as performed by Cleland et al and grade 1-4 mobilization to the thoracic spine as selected by the Physical Therapist for cervical spine pain.
Woman holding her neck, having painThe immediate effects of thoracic spine mobilization have been shown to facilitate greater range of motion increases in the cervical spine and greater pain decreases within a treatment session and on follow-up visits. There is no research utilizing pain threshold perception as an objective outcome of these treatments. Only one study compared the two treatment techniques and concluded that future research should be completed which includes manual therapy for the thoracic spine.

Condition: Neck Pain
Exercise: Mobilization

Clinical Trial Sponsor

This Clinical Trial is Sponsored by Chatham University.

Recruiting Locations (United States)

Chatham University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15221
Contact: Steve A Karas, DSc    412-365-2798
Principal Investigator: Steve A Karas, DSc

Olympic Physical therapy
Renton, Washington, United States, 98055
Contact: Ken Cole, PT  425-277-9096  

Eligibility, Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with Neck Pain
  • Ages 18 - 60

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Red flags: leg weakness, night pain, history of cancer, upper motor neuron signs, infection, tumors, osteoporosis, fracture (Boissonnault, 2011) (Cleland, 2004), cervical stenosis, CNS involvement, signs consistent with nerve root compression, previous surgery, pending legal action

The inclusion and exclusion above represent a conservative approach based on combining criteria of recent studies in published review articles. (Cross, 2011; Walser, 2009)

* Additional inclusion/exclusion criteria apply. Please consult with your physician to review the complete eligibility criteria.


Updated on: 03/16/17