Manual Therapy Effects on Nonspecific Neck Pain Are Not Mediated by Mechanisms Related to Conditioned Pain Modulation: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Alberto Arribas Romano, Josue Fernández-Carnero, Yeray González-Zamorano, Leonardo Rodríguez-Lagos, Isabel María Alguacil-Diego, Miguel Molina-Álvarez, David Morales Tejera, Francisco Mercado-Romero

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Background. Manual therapy (MT) is a treatment recommended by clinical practice guidelines in the management of patients with neck pain. However, the mechanisms through which MT works remain unknown. The aim of the present study is to investigate if MT is mediated by mechanisms related to conditioned pain modulation (CPM), comparing the effects of painful with a pain-free MT treatment. Methods. A two-arm, parallel, randomized controlled clinical trial with concealed allocation and blinding of the outcome assessor was conducted in university students with chronic or recurrent nonspecific neck pain (NSNP). Participants received either a painful or pain-free MT session. Psychophysical variables including pressure pain thresholds, CPM, temporal summation of pain and cold pain intensity were assessed before and immediately after treatment. In addition, changes in neck pain intensity over the following 7 days and self-perceived improvement immediately and 7 days after treatment were assessed. Results: No significant differences were found between groups in any of the psychophysical variables or in patients’ self-perceived improvement. Only a significantly greater decrease in neck pain intensity immediately after treatment was found in the pain-free MT group compared to the painful MT group. Conclusion: The results suggest that the immediate and short-term effects of MT on NSNP are not mediated by CPM-related mechanisms.
Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer3894
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume12
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
DOI's
StatusPublished - 7 jun 2023

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© 2023 by the authors.

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