Welcome back to the Head to Sacrum series on Spine IQ’s Back Blog. This month our research spotlight will summarize the findings from a systematic review evaluating the efficacy of manual therapy and exercise as neck pain treatments.

Methods: This study reviewed data from existing randomized control trials regarding grade I or II neck pain. Outcomes related to four major categories of manual therapies were studied, including pain, function, overall-health and quality of life.

Conclusions: There is moderate to strong evidence that spinal manipulation combined with exercise results improvements in pain, function and satisfaction with care in patients with neck pain.

Implications: This research indicates that in order to optimize outcomes, combination therapy = manual therapy + exercise may lead to the best results. In addition, mobilization may still be effective even when the clinician is not able to apply it to the symptomatic area.

If you are curious to learn more about the biomechanics of neck mobilization, see this mechanistic study by Gudavali et al!

Access the full article here for free.