Dysfunction of the spine in the neck and upper back and the nearby
ribs (also called the shoulder girdle) may predict the occurrence and
poor outcome of shoulder symptoms. This study tested the effectiveness
of manipulative therapy for the shoulder girdle in addition to usual
medical care for relief of shoulder pain and dysfunction in 150 patients. All patients received usual medical care from their general
practitioners. Only the intervention group received additional manipulative
therapy, up to 6 treatment sessions in a 12-week period. After completion
of treatment (12 weeks), 43% of the intervention group and 21% of the
control group reported full recovery. After 52 weeks, approximately
the same difference in recovery rate was seen between groups. During
the intervention and follow-up periods, a consistent difference was
found in severity of the main complaint, shoulder pain and disability,
and general health which favored the addition of manipulative therapy.
In this study manipulative therapy for the shoulder girdle in addition
to usual medical care accelerated recovery of shoulder symptoms. Bergman
GJ, Winters JC, Groenier KH, et al. Annals of Internal Medicine. 141(6):432-9, 2004 Sep 21.