Manipulation efficacy: Upper body

J. W. Atchison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Manipulation, or manual medicine, is a highly utilized form of treatment for many types of musculoskeletal disorders, but there are many questions about the efficacy and safety of this form of treatment. This review of published trials for treatment of the upper body (cervical, thoracic, and upper limb) describes the patient groups that have been studied and may benefit from manual treatment, their outcomes, and their limitations. Cervical manipulation in particular has historically received criticism regarding safety, and the incidence of side effects, severe complications, and contraindications are discussed. The number of studies published for the upper body is small compared to the lumbar spine, and the lack of uniformity of the information still leaves the individual practitioner to decide if and when manipulation fits into his or her treatment algorithms for this region of the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cervical spine
  • Efficacy
  • Manipulation
  • Thoracic spine
  • Upper body
  • Upper limbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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