- Thoracic spine manipulation increased shoulder muscle activity, particularly the serratus anterior, in subjects with shoulder pain.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Anecdotally clinicians report alteration in shoulder muscle activity in shoulder pain patients and find that thoracic spine manipulation (TSM) can reduce pain and improve function in these patients.
This biomechanical study explored the effects of TSM on shoulder muscle activity and the relationships between muscle activity changes and clinical outcomes. The concept of altered neuromuscular drive post TSM resulting in improved muscle activity and subsequent shoulder improvement was explored (see Figure 1).
This study identified a widespread immediate increase in shoulder muscle activity following the thoracic spine manipulation intervention.
Subjects with only subacromial pain syndrome were selected (n=28). Three high-velocity thrust (HVT) manipulations were administered to the C/T junction (sitting traction + P-A thrust), mid thoracic (Prone “Screw” HVT) and lower thoracic spine (Prone “Screw” HVT). A video of