The relative effectiveness of spinal manipulation and ultrasound in mechanical neck pain
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The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of adjustments versus the use of ultrasound in the treatment of mechanical neck pain. It was hypothesized that treatment with adjustments over a four week period, with a further four week follow-up period, would be more effective than ultrasound in terms of improving patients' cervical ranges of motion and their perceptions of pain and disability. Thirty consecutive patients suffering from mechanical neck pain were randomly assigned to either the adjustment or ultrasound groups. An experimental design was employed, whereby both groups received treatment twice a week for four weeks. After a follow-up period of a month, the patients were re-assessed. Measurements of the cervical spine ranges of motion with the CROM goniometer, algometer readings, and the completion of the Numerical Pain Rating Scale-101, CMCC Neck Disability Index and the Short Form McGill Pain questionnaires were performed before the first, fourth and final treatments as well as at the one month follow-up consultation. The data were then transferred to spreadsheets and underwent statistical analyses, using a 95 % confidence level. Analyses within each group were performed, using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and various readings were compared. The reading taken before the first treatment was compared to the reading taken before the final treatment. The initial reading was then again compared with the reading taken at the one month follow-up consultation. Comparison of the results of both treatment groups was statistically evaluated, using the Mann-Whitney U-Test. The comparison was made using the readings of the first, fourth and final treatments, as well as the one month follow-up consultation. This was done for all measurement parameters.