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Comparison of 2 Lumbar Manual Therapies on Temporal Summation of Pain in Healthy Volunteers


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Structural and chiropractic

J Pain.2017 Nov;18(11):1397-1408.


C W Penza, M E Horn, S Z George, M D Bishop


The purpose of this study was to compare the immediate change in temporal summation of heat pain (TSP) between spinal manipulation (SMT) and spinal mobilization (MOB) in healthy volunteers. Ninety-two volunteers (24 male; 23.8 ± 5.3 years) were randomized to receive SMT, MOB, or no treatment (REST) for 1 session. Primary outcomes were changes in TSP, measured at the hand and foot, immediately after the session. A planned subgroup analysis investigated effects across empirically derived TSP clusters. For the primary outcome there were no differences in the immediate change in TSP measured at the foot between SMT and MOB, however, both treatments were superior to the REST condition. In the subgroup analysis the response to a standard TSP protocol was best characterized by 3 clusters: 52% no change (n = 48, 52%); facilitatory response (n = 24, 26%), and inhibitory response (n = 20, 22%). There was a significant Time × Treatment group × Cluster interaction for TSP measured at the foot. The inhibitory cluster showed the greatest attenuation of TSP after SMT and MOB compared with REST. These data suggest lumbar manual therapies of different velocities produce a similar localized attenuation of TSP, compared with no treatment. Attenuation of localized pain facilitatory processes by manual therapies was greatest in pain-free individuals who show an inhibitory TSP response. Perspective: The attenuation of pain facilitatory measures may serve an important underlying role in the therapeutic response to manual therapies. Identifying patients in pain who still have an inhibitory capacity (ie, an inhibitory response subgroup) may be useful clinically in identifying the elusive "manual therapy" responder.

Publication Date: 

2017 Nov



Penza, WC., Horn, EM., George, ZS., Bishop, DM. (2017) 'Comparison of 2 Lumbar Manual Therapies on Temporal Summation of Pain in Healthy Volunteers', J Pain.2017 Nov;18(11):1397-1408.

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