Effects of Manual Versus Instrumental Spinal Manipulation on Blood Flow of the Vertebral and Internal Carotid Arteries in Participants With Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain: A Single-Blind, Randomized Study

Kocabey B., Karagözoğlu Coşkunsu D., GÜVEN K., Ağaoğlu M. H., Yüce S.

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, vol.22, no.1, pp.1-10, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jcm.2022.05.006
  • Journal Name: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CINAHL
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Keywords: Blood Flow Velocity, Carotid Artery, Internal, Chiropractic, Manipulation, Spinal, Vertebral Artery
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the hemodynamic effects of manual spinal manipulation (MSM) and instrumental spinal manipulation (ISM) on the vertebral artery (VA) and internal carotid artery (ICA) in participants with chronic nonspecific neck pain (NNP). Methods: Thirty volunteers aged 20 to 40 years old with NNP over 3 months duration were included. Participants were randomly divided into the following 2 groups: (1) MSM group (n = 15) and (2) ISM group (n = 15). Ipsilateral (intervention side) and contralateral (opposite side of intervention) VAs and ICAs were evaluated using spectral color Doppler ultrasound before and immediately after manipulation. Measurements were recorded by visualizing the ICA carotid sinus (C4 level) and the VA at the V3 segment (C1-C2 level). The blood flow parameters of peak systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity, resistive index, and volume flow (only for VA) were evaluated. The spinal segment, in which biomechanical aberrant movement was detected by palpation in the upper cervical spine, was manually manipulated in the MSM group. The same methodology was performed for the ISM group using an Activator V instrument (Activator Methods). Results: Intragroup analysis exhibited no statistically significant difference between the MSM and ISM groups in terms of PSV, end-diastolic velocity, resistive index of ipsilateral and contralateral ICA and VA, in addition to volume flow of both VAs preintervention and postintervention (P > .05). Within the intergroup analysis, there was a significant difference in ipsilateral ICA PSV (P = .031) (preintervention vs postintervention difference was –7.9 ± 17.2 cm/s [95% confidence interval, –17.4 to 1.6] in the ISM group and 8.7 ± 22.5 cm/s [95% confidence interval, –3.6 to 21.2]) in the MSM group (P < .05). Other parameters did not show any significant difference (P > .05). Conclusion: Manual and instrumental spinal manipulations applied to the upper cervical spine in participants with chronic NNP did not appear to alter blood flow parameters of the VAs and ICAs.