Patient Characteristics Associated with Non-Serious Adverse Events After Cervical Manual Therapy

Patient Characteristics Associated with Non-Serious Adverse Events After Cervical Manual Therapy

Patient Characteristics Associated with Non-Serious Adverse Events After Cervical Manual Therapy

Cervical spine manipulation and mobilization are commonly used for the treatment of patients with neck pain, with 6% to 12% of neck pain patients utilizing cervical spine manipulation annually. Manual therapy (MT), comprising high velocity thrust (HVT) manipulation and/or low velocity non-thrust mobilization combined with exercise, has been shown to be beneficial to neck pain patients.

Adverse events (AEs) have been reported following cervical manual therapy manipulation and mobilization, which have been categorized as serious and non-serious. Serious AEs (ex. cervical artery dissection and stroke) can result in life-threatening situations or even death, whereas non-serious AEs are benign and short lived, usually resolving within 24 hours. Serious AEs following cervical spinal manipulation are rare, with reported incidence rates ranging from 1 in 100,000 to 1 in several million.  

A typical clinical visit rarely consists of high-velocity thrust (HVT) manipulation exclusively, rather, a combination of interventions is often utilized, making it difficult to determine which intervention caused a given AE.

Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of serious and non-serious AEs after MT treatment in patients with neck pain. A secondary aim was to explore risk factors for non-serious AEs after HVT manipulation and non-thrust mobilization in patients with neck pain.

RESEARCH REVIEW: “Patient Characteristics Associated with Non-Serious Adverse Events After Cervical Manual Therapy”

This paper was published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2023) and this Review is posted in Cervical Spine – Manipulation/Mobilization, Spinal Manipulation – Adverse Events & Safety and the 2023 Archive.

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