Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Neurology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Identification of potential neuromotor mechanisms of manual therapy in patients with musculoskeletal disablement: rationale and description of a clinical trial

Beth E Fisher1*, Todd E Davenport2, Kornelia Kulig3 and Allan D Wu4

Author Affiliations

1 Neuroplasticity and Imaging Laboratory, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

2 Department of Physical Therapy, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA

3 Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

4 Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Neurology 2009, 9:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-9-20

Published: 21 May 2009

Abstract

Background

Many health care practitioners use a variety of hands-on treatments to improve symptoms and disablement in patients with musculoskeletal pathology.

Research to date indirectly suggests a potentially broad effect of manual therapy on the neuromotor processing of functional behavior within the supraspinal central nervous system (CNS) in a manner that may be independent of modification at the level of local spinal circuits. However, the effect of treatment speed, as well as the specific mechanism and locus of CNS changes, remain unclear.

Methods/Design

We developed a placebo-controlled, randomized study to test the hypothesis that manual therapy procedures directed to the talocrural joint in individuals with post-acute ankle sprain induce a change in corticospinal excitability that is relevant to improve the performance of lower extremity functional behavior.

Discussion

This study is designed to identify potential neuromotor changes associated with manual therapy procedures directed to the appendicular skeleton, compare the relative effect of treatment speed on potential neuromotor effects of manual therapy procedures, and determine the behavioral relevance of potential neuromotor effects of manual therapy procedures.

Trial Registration

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov webcite identifier NCT00847769.