Relief from Back Pain Through Postural Adjustment: a Controlled Clinical Trial of the Immediate Effects of Muscular Chains Therapy (MCT)

Jose L. Rosario, PT, PhD


Introduction: Back pain can be one of the most common health problems, causing suffering, disabilities, and financial losses. Postural models for pain treatment state that poor posture alters the joint position and causes pain, such as back pain. Muscular Chain Therapy (MCT) is a technique that is used to treat posture pathologies, among others.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to assess the efficiency of a single session of Muscular Chain Therapy (MCT) on complaints of undiagnosed musculoskeletal spinal pain.

Setting: Physical therapy clinic of the University of Center-West (Guarapuava, Brazil). Participants: 100 subjects, aged between 20 and 39 years, with complaints of spinal musculoskeletal pain.

Research Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Intervention: The participants were randomly assigned by a non-care provider into two groups: The MCT Group that received Muscular Chain Treatment and the Control Group that received a placebo treatment of 15 minutes turned off ultrasound therapy. All volunteers were assessed before and after treatment using an analog pain scale. A score of 0 indicated no pain and 10 was the maximum degree of pain on the scale.

Main Outcome Measure: Degree of pain measured by analog scale.

Results: The chi-square goodness of fit test was used to compare gender distribution among groups displayed a p value = .25. Subject age had differences analyzed using the unpaired t test (p = .44). Pain assessment for treatment and placebo control groups was analyzed using a paired t test and unpaired t test. The paired t test was used for intragroup before/after treatment comparison (MCT p = .00001; Control Group p = .0001). The unpaired t test was used for comparing the difference of the pain level before and after treatment between groups (p = .0001). A priori statistical significance was set a p = .05.

Conclusion: It is possible to conclude that one MCT session is an effective treatment of undiagnosed spinal musculoskeletal pain.


posture; pain; analog pain scale; spine; musculoskeletal diseases; musculoskeletal manipulations; musculoskeletal pain; static stretching

Full Text:



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