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Effects of Thoracic Mobility Exercise on Cervicothoracic Function, Posture and Pain in Individuals With Mechanical Neck Pain

한국전문물리치료학회지 2019년 26권 3호 p.42 ~ 56
이화정 ( Lee Hwa-Jeong ) - 대전대학교 보건의료대학원 물리치료학과

김선엽 ( Kim Suhn-Yeop ) - 대전대학교 보건의료과학대학 물리치료학과


Background: Individuals with mechanical neck pain show biomechanical and neurophysiological changes, including cervical spine muscle weakness. As a result of deep muscle weakness, it causes stability disability and reduced upper thoracic spine mobility, which finally leads to functional movement restriction such as limited range of motion and dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that thoracic spine manipulation and mobilization could reduce symptoms of mechanical neck pain in patients.

Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of thoracic mobility exercise on cervicothoracic function, posture feature, and pain intensity in individuals with mechanical neck pain.

Methods: The study subjects were 26 persons who were randomly assigned to the experimental (with thoracic mobility exercise) and control groups (without thoracic mobility exercise), with 13 subjects in each group. The cervicothoracic function (neck functional disability level and cervicothoracic range of motion), posture feature, and pain rating (using a quadrupled visual analogue scale [QVAS]) were measured before, after 3 weeks, and after 6 weeks.

Results: Statistically significant group-by-time interactions were found with repeated analyses of variance for the Korean neck disability index (KNDI), all cervical range of motion (CROM), all thoracic range of motion (TROM), cranial rotation angle, sagittal shoulder posture (SSP), and QVAS (p<.05). All groups showed significant improvements from all times in all the evaluated methods. The KNDI, CROM, TROM of left rotation, and SSP in the experimental group showed significant improvements after 3 weeks, and the TROM of the right rotation and QVAS in the experimental group showed significant improvements after 6 weeks when compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Thoracic mobility exercise during 6 weeks might be effective intervention to improve the functional level, posture feature, and QVAS pain rating for managing individuals with mechanical neck pain.


Mechanical neck pain; Neck disability; Thoracic mobility exercise
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