Regional Interdependence

The concept that a patient’s primary musculoskeletal symptom(s) may be directly or indirectly related or influenced by impairments from various body regions and systems regardless of proximity to the primary symptom(s). The clinical implication of this premise is that interventions directed at one region of the body will often have effects at remote and seeming unrelated areas (1). Example, thoracic manipulation having a positive effect on a patient's complaints associated with shoulder impingement syndrome is an example of regional interdependence. Original Concept introduced by Weinner et al (2).
  • Sueki, D. G., Cleland, J. A., & Wainner, R. S. (2013). A regional interdependence model of musculoskeletal dysfunction: research, mechanisms, and clinical implications. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 21(2), 90-102.
  • Wainner RS, Flynn TW, Whitman JM. Spinal and extremity manipulation: the basic skill set for physical therapists. San Antonio (TX): Manipulations, Inc; 2001

Related Terms

  • musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • manual therapy
  • physical therapy
  • shoulder impingement syndrome
  • thoracic manipulation


  • regional interconnectivity
  • regional interdependence model
  • regional interdependence theory
  • Regional Interdependence