Rwanda Journal of Health Sciences

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Therapeutic Efficacy of Cervical Traction in the Management of Cervical Radiculopathy: A Control Trial

AO Ojoawo, A Olabode, O Esan, A Badru, S Odejide, B Arilewola


Background: Severe pain and disability from cervical disorder is second to that of low back pain in musculoskeletal practice.

Methods: Forty eight patients who met the inclusion criteria were placed into experimental (n=24) and control (n=24) group randomly. Participants in both groups received massage, cryotherapy and active exercises. Cervical traction was administered to experimental group for 15 minutes, thrice per week for four weeks while the other group served as control. Verbal rating scale (VRS) and Neck Disability Pain Index (NDI) were used as outcome measures. Data were analyzed using descriptive, dependent –t-test and independent-t-test.

Results: There was a significant improvement in the pretreatment and post treatment pain intensity (t=10.75, p< 0.001) and neck functional disability (t=2.42, p=0.03) of participants in experimental group. There was a significant difference (t=-3.98, p=0.006) in the post treatment pain intensity between the cervical traction and control group.

Conclusion: It could be concluded that application of continuous cervical traction can significantly reduce pain intensity of patients with cervical  radiculopathy.

Key words: Cervical traction, cryotherapy, neck disability index, and verbal rating scale.
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