The effect of cervical traction combined with neural mobilization on pain and disability in cervical radiculopathy. A case report
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Cervical radiculopathy is the result of cervical nerve root pathology that may lead to chronic pain and disability. Although manual therapy interventions including cervical traction and neural mobilization have been advocated to decrease pain and disability caused by cervical radiculopathy, their analgesic effect has been questioned due to the low quality of research evidence. The purpose of this paper is to present the effect of cervical traction combined with neural mobilization on pain and disability in a patient experiencing cervical radiculopathy. A 52-year-old woman presented with a 2 month history of neurological cervico-brachial pain and whose presentation was consistent with cervical radiculopathy. Cervical traction and a slider neural mobilization of the medial nerve were applied simultaneously to reduce the patient's pain and disability measured at baseline and at 2 and 4 weeks using the Numeric Pain Rating Scale, the Neck Disability Index and the Patient-Specific Functional Scale. Improvements in all outcome measures were noted over a period of four weeks. Scores in all outcome measures revealed that the patient's pain had almost disappeared and that she was able to perform her household chores and job tasks without difficulties and limitations. In conclusion, the findings of this study support that the application of cervical traction combined with neural mobilization can produce significant improvements in terms of pain and disability in cervical radiculopathy.