The Effectiveness of Cervical Traction and Exercise in Decreasing Neck and Arm Pain for Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy: A Critically Appraised Topic

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training

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Shelby E. BaezUniversity of Kentucky

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Johanna M. HochUniversity of Kentucky

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Timothy L. UhlUniversity of Kentucky

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Clinical Question:

Is there evidence to suggest intermittent cervical traction with cervical and scapular strengthening exercises is more effective in decreasing neck and arm pain when compared with cervical and scapular strengthening exercises alone in nonoperative patients with cervical radiculopathy?

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is currently inconsistent, high-quality evidence that suggests that the use of intermittent cervical traction in addition to strengthening exercises is more effective at decreasing pain in nonoperative patients with cervical radiculopathy when compared with strengthening alone. Future research should continue to examine long-term outcomes associated with cervical radiculopathy patients who use intermittent cervical traction as an intervention.

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