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J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2018 Dec 10. doi: 10.3233/BMR-181228. [Epub ahead of print]

Upper cervical and upper thoracic spine mobilization versus deep cervical flexors exercise in individuals with forward head posture: A randomized clinical trial investigating their effectiveness.

Cho J1,2, Lee E1, Lee S3.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School of Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Wellciti Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
3
Department of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although commonly utilized treatments, no study has directly compared the effectiveness of joint mobilization and stabilization exercise in individuals with forward head posture (FHP).

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to investigate the effects of upper cervical and upper thoracic spine mobilization versus deep cervical flexors exercise (DCFE) in individuals with FHP.

METHODS:

Thirty-one participants with FHP were randomized into the mobilization (n= 15) or exercise (n= 16) group. The treatment period was 4 weeks with follow-up assessment at 4 weeks and 6 weeks after the initial examination. Outcomes assessed included the craniovertebral angle (CVA), numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), respiratory function, and the global rating of change (GRC).

RESULTS:

Participants in the mobilization group demonstrated significant improvements (p< 0.05) in CVA, NPRS, and respiratory function, as compared to those in the exercise group. In addition, 9 of 15 (60%) participants in the mobilization group, as compared to 4 of 16 participants (25%) in the exercise group, had a GRC score of +4 or higher.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combination of upper cervical and upper thoracic spine mobilization indicated better overall short-term outcomes in CVA, NPRS, respiratory function, and GRC compared with DCFE in individuals with FHP.

KEYWORDS:

Forward head posture; exercise; mobilization; neck pain; respiration

PMID:
30584118
DOI:
10.3233/BMR-181228

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