Patient Recall of the Mechanics of Cervical Spine Manipulation

ABSTRACT Objective: To determine how accurately patients with neck pain and/or headache can recall the mechanics of their cervical spine manipulative therapy immediately after its administration. Methods: A survey analysis of immediate patient recall after cervical spine manipulative therapy was performed in a private clinic. The group consisted of 94 sequentially presenting neck pain and/or headache patients with 54 (57%) females and 40 (43%) males. The mean age of the patients was 41.9 years (SD = 13.8; range, 17-96 years). Patients received diversified cervical spine manipulative therapy using a standardized set-up of lateral flexion coupled with flexion. Immediately after the cervical spine manipulative therapy, each patient completed a one-page questionnaire regarding the mechanics of the procedure. Patient responses were analyzed to determine the accuracy of their recall of head positioning. Results: Among the patients, 78.7% reported that they experienced a component of rotation and/or extension, although the technique used involved a premanipulative set-up of lateral bending coupled with flexion. Conclusion: Patients with primary complaints of neck pain and/or headache, when asked to recall the mechanics of their recently applied cervical spine manipulative therapy, displayed a low rate of accuracy. Rotation and/or extension of the cervical spine were the most frequently given incorrect responses. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. November 2005; Vol. 28, Iss. 9, pp. 708-712.


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