Treatment of cervical radiculopathy

...comparing different approaches

A cervical radiculopathy (CR) is a result from impingement/ inflammation processes that reduce space in the intervertebral foramen (IVF). Patients often report symptoms such as neck, periscapular or upper limb radicular pain, as well as neurological signs such as sensory disturbance, weakness and reduced tendon reflexes.

Movements such as flexion, contralateral rotation and contralateral lateral flexion may decompress the affected nerve. Extension, ipsilateral rotation and ipsilateral lateral flexion are hypothesized to reduce the space in the IVF.

Both groups achieved highly favorable outcomes in terms of pain, disability, and patient-perceived improvement, suggesting that, in this population, the combination of manual therapy and exercise is effective.

Although, in the present study, both groups reached significant statistical and clinical improvements following the intervention programs, no between-group differences were observed.

The current results suggest that, for acute and subacute CR, treating joint and muscle stiffness without a focus on increasing the size of the IVF is as effective as a program that specifically focuses on increasing the size of the IVF of the affected nerve root.

> From: Langevin et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 45 (2016-04-27 14:51:58) 14 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the online summary.

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