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Examination of the cervical region

Arterial dysfunction screening prior to cervical spine manipulation

Cervical Arterial Dysfunction (CAD) in patients presenting with neck complaints is a rare event, but critical when considering the application of cervical spine manipulation techniques.  The vertebral artery test is a very commonly used test prior to manipulation. However, an important principle of the assessment is that clinicians cannot rely on the results of one test to draw conclusions, in this case regarding the presence or risk of CAD. Thus, this paper aims to provide a framework based on a risk: benefit analysis, which will guide clinicians in the assessment of the cervical region for potential CAD.

Cervical spine manipulation may carry the potential for serious neurovascular complications; therefore clinicians should take precautions measures and aim to exclude any vasculogenic cause prior to treatment.

> From: Rushton et al., Man Ther 19 (2014-10-20 17:15:06) 222-228 . All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.. Click here for the online summary.

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