Man Ther. 1997 Feb; 2(1): 18-23.
The influence of an anteroposterior accessory glide of the glenohumeral joint on measures of peripheral sympathetic nervous system function in the upper limb.
Department of Physiotherapy, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
SUMMARY. The present study was undertaken to determine whether a sympathoexcitatory effect would result from a manipulative therapy technique applied to a peripheral joint. The technique selected was a Grade III posteroanterior accessory glide of the right glenohumeral joint with the arm positioned in glenohumeral abduction and internal rotation. Previously, spinal manipulative therapy techniques have been shown to produce such an effect. Nineteen normal subjects participated in the experiment. Treatment, placebo and control conditions were compared. Skin conductance and skin temperature of the distal finger tips were used as indicators of peripheral sympathetic activity. Results demonstrated that the treatment condition caused a significantly greater increase in skin conductance than the placebo or control conditions. The response was seen in both hands indicating a generalised sympathetic activation. The treatment condition also resulted in a significant reduction in skin temperature in the treated limb. The importance of this sympathoexcitatory effect in relation to potential neurophysiological mechanisms underlying manipulation induced analgesia is discussed. Copyright 1997 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.