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Man Ther. 2003 Feb;8(1):2-9.

Manipulation of the cervical spine.

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School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Studies, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1020, New Zealand.


In New Zealand, a new approach to manual therapy of the cervical spine has integrated physiotherapy and osteopathy techniques. The combination of the philosophies of these two professions has added a new dimension to the management of cervical spine pain. Emphasis is placed on issues of safety, such as the degree of cervical rotation and comfort for both the patient and the therapist. This is combined with biomechanical considerations, which have made the teaching and learning of these manipulative techniques less complicated and easily progressed from palpation to mobilization and onto manipulation. Appropriate patient screening and selection identified through thorough subjective and objective assessments are important aspects of this approach and reflective interpretation of all clinical findings is essential. The refinement of cervical joint positioning and an increased anatomical awareness have led to the utilization of new upper cervical high-velocity thrust techniques. Consequently, it is envisaged that an increase in the safety and specificity of cervical manipulative techniques is achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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