Trapezius fibre muscle analysis: A pilot inter/intra-examiner reliability study

Abstract: This paper is an evidence-based report of DeJarnette’s ‘trapezius fibre technique.’ DeJarnette describes that the palpation of the trapezius muscle begins at the lateral border of T1 and moves out laterally in 7 equally spaced steps to finish at the acromioclavicular junction. The relationship between a palpated nodule and its causative vertebrae is documented in chart-form. The indicated thoracic or lumbar vertebrae shows irritation or off-centering on digital palpation That vertebra is designated as the one causing the greatest stimulation of the trapezius muscle. Inter- and intraexaminer reliability was determined in this study with a cohort N=36 Australian chiropractors trained (advanced certification in Sacro Occipital Technique) and experienced (m=12y, R=r=12-34y) in the application of the trapezius fibre technique. In 72% (26/36) of cases there was at least one nodule/no nodule located by at least two examiners. The reliability of the examiners in so far as they could detect the same nodule on all three occasions was impressive and far greater than the inter-examiner reliability. Indeed there were 10 out of the 18 occasions where the one nodule was identified on all three occasions. We conclude that the examiners were relatively able to reliably detect nodules in the trapezius muscle.

Indexing Terms: subluxation; Sacro Occipital Technique; trapezius fiber/fibre; DeJarnette; spondylogenic reflex syndrome; conventional chiropractic.

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Cite: Cashman S, Blum C. Trapezius fibre muscle analysis: A pilot inter/intra-examiner reliability study. Asia-Pac Chiropr J. 2020;1.2:online only. URL


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