Work Type



Fall 2020

Faculty Advisor

Robert Boyles, PT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT




Background: There is evidence that thoracic manipulation is effective for treating subacromial shoulder pain (SSP). However, evidence is limited for thoracic mobilization. Manipulation is not safe for all patients; therefore, effects of thoracic mobilization on SSP needs to be researched further.

Purpose: To measure the effects of thoracic spine transverse mobilization (TSTM) and a home exercise in patients with SSP immediately after treatment, and 48 hours later. Shoulder range of motion (ROM), shoulder pain, and patient perception of treatment effects were assessed.

Methods: This is a single treatment pretest/posttest design consisting of eight patients (five females, three males; mean age 26.75 +8.14 years) with shoulder pain. Participants completed a standardized examination, and then treatment using TSTM and a home exercise. Outcome measures were taken at baseline, immediately following treatment, and 48 hours later.

Results:The improvements in Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) and Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) scores were statistically significant (p

Conclusion: In conclusion, a single treatment of TSTM and one exercise provided a statistically significant decrease in self-reported shoulder pain and disability measures at 48-hour follow-up. The SPADI and NPRS did not reach the minimum clinically important difference (MCID), however, the SPADI Pain subscale did. Future studies should focus on the long-term effects of TSTM, multiple treatments, and in comparison with a control group.


University of Puget Sound