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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012 Jul;35(6):446-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.06.006. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Immediate effects of the suboccipital muscle inhibition technique in craniocervical posture and greater occipital nerve mechanosensitivity in subjects with a history of orthodontia use: a randomized trial.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy, and Podiatry, University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.



The purpose of this study was to measure the immediate differences in craniocervical posture and pressure pain threshold of the greater occipital (GO) nerve in asymptomatic subjects with a history of having used orthodontics, after intervention by a suboccipital muscle inhibition (SMI) technique.


This was a randomized, single-blind, clinical study with a sample of 24 subjects (21±1.78 years) that were divided into an experimental group (n=12) who underwent the SMI technique and a sham group (n=12) who underwent a sham (placebo) intervention. The sitting and standing craniovertebral angle and the pressure pain threshold of the GO nerve in both hemispheres were measured.


The between-group comparison of the sample indicated that individuals subjected to the SMI technique showed a statistically significant increase in the craniovertebral angle in both the sitting (P<.001, F1,22=102.09, R2=0.82) and the standing (P<.001, F1,22=21.42, R2=0.56) positions and in the GO nerve pressure pain threshold in the nondominant hemisphere (P=.014, F1,22=7.06, R2=0.24). There were no statistically significant differences observed for the GO nerve mechanosensitivity in the dominant side (P=.202).


Suboccipital muscle inhibition technique immediately improved the position of the head with the subject seated and standing, the clinical effect size being large in the former case. It also immediately decreased the mechanosensitivity of the GO nerve in the nondominant hemisphere, although the effect size was small.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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