Visceral Manipulation Decreases Pain, Increases Cervical Mobility and Electromyographic Activity of the Upper Trapezius Muscle in Non-Specific Neck Pain Subjects with Functional Dyspepsia: Two Case Reports

Andréia C. O. Silva, PT, MSc, Claudia S. Oliveira, PT, PhD, Daniela A. Biasotto-Gonzalez, PT, PhD, Marco A. Fumagalli, Eng, PhD, Fabiano Politti, PT, PhD


Background and Purpose: The lack of clear knowledge about the etiology of nonspecific neck pain (NS-NP) strengthens the need for other mech-anisms, still poorly described in the literature, to be investigated. Therefore, a quantitative analysis of two cases of NS-NP in subjects with functiona dyspepsia was conducted in order to verify the immediate and seven-day postintervention effects of visceral manipulation (VM) to the stomach and liver on neck pain, cervical range of motion (ROM), and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the upper trapezius muscle.

Case Description: Case A was an 18-year-old female with a complaint of nonspecific neck pain for one year, with reported pain on waking, momentary intermittent pain, and occasional symptoms of paresthesia in the upper limbs. Case B was a 25-year-old female with a complaint of cervical pain for one year, accompanied by pain in the unilateral temporomandibular joint, and medial thoracic region. Both cases presented functional dyspepsia.

Outcomes: The results demonstrated (sub-jects A and B, respectively) a general increase in cervical ROM (range: 12.5% to 44.44%) and amplitude of the EMG signal (immediately postintervention: 57.62 and 20.78; post seven days: 53.54% and 18.83%), and an increase in muscle fiber conduction velocity immediately postintervention (4.44% and 7.44%) and a de-crease seven days postintervention (25.25% and 21.18%). For pain, a decrease was observed immediately postintervention (23.07% and 76.92%) and seven days postintervention (100% for both subjects).

Discussion: A single VM provided important clinical improvement in neck pain, cervical spine range of motion, and EMG activity of the upper trapezius muscle, immediately and seven days postintervention in two NS-NP subjects with func-tional dyspepsia.


neck pain; muscle pain; functional dyspepsia; visceral manipulation; electromyography

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International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
ISSN 1916-257X