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Immediate effects of cervical mobilisations on global perceived effect, movement associated pain and neck kinematics in patients with non-specific neck pain. A double blind placebo randomised controlled trial

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Ion Lascurain-Aguirrebeña, Di J. Newham, Xabat Casado-Zumeta, Aitana Lertxundi, Duncan J. Critchley

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice


King's Authors


Background Neck pain is prevalent, costly and disabling. Cervical mobilisations are frequently used to treat it but their effectiveness has been questioned by several systematic reviews. Evidence suggests that better outcomes are achieved with mobilisations when they are applied to specific patient subgroups. A criteria for patients suitable for neck mobilisations has been proposed, but the effectiveness on this patient subgroup has not been tested. Objective To assess the effectiveness of cervical mobilisations applied to a subgroup of patients with neck pain who fulfil specific criteria. Design Randomised controlled trial. Method 40 patients with neck pain attending a Physiotherapy clinic were recruited and randomised to a single session of either cervical mobilisations or motionless manual contact placebo. The immediate effects on global perceived effect, range of movement (ROM), movement velocity and movement associated pain were assessed. Results mobilisation participants reported significantly better global perceived effect (p˂0.001) and improvements in movement associated pain (p = 0.041). Mobilisations produced a significant increase in ROM in side flexion (p = 0.006) and rotation (p = 0.044) when compared with placebo, but only in patients with pre-intervention ROM restriction. 29–47% of all movement associated pains were resolved following mobilisations and 11–27% following placebo. Patients in both groups showed a significant (p 

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