Year 2019, Volume 48, Issue 3

Effects of cervical vertebral manipulations on pain. Systematic review

Feliz-Huerga A, Arceredillo-Brenlla C, Mendoza-Puente M, Zambrano-Martín J.


Background: spinal manipulation improves the pressure pain threshold, as suggested by Coronado’s systematic review. More recent reviews suggest discrepancy with previous findings about the effects of spinal manipulation on the back pain. No recent systematic reviews have been published about the effect of spinal manipulation on the neck pain. Objectives: to review and analyze the available scientific evidence concerning the effects of cervical spine manipulation on neck pain. Material and method: a systematic literature review was completed with two reviewers who independently classified the studies to be included. Four databases were used for the searches: Medline Complete, Pedro, Pubmed and Scopus. Timeframe of the studies to be included in the searches was january 2012 - december 2017. Randomized clinical trials in which cervical spine was isolated and the spinal manipulation technique was used as the experimental manipulation were evaluated for the current review. In addition, the review included randomized clinical trials in which the effects of local cervical pain or cervical innervation zone were measured. Results: analysis of published studies indicates that the immediate effect of spinal manipulation on pain was beneficial. In a majority of the cases, the perceived pain diminished significantly following spinal manipulation. Conclusion: results show a potential effect of cervical manipulation on the improvement of perceived pain, however somewhat less effective in diminishing pain sensitivity.

Keywords: spinal manipulation, pain, pain threshold.