Clinical Cervical Traction: Finding Better Pain Relief Treatments for Your Patients

Recent cervical traction research points to the effectiveness of mechanical intermittent traction for patients with cervical radiculopathy. If you are looking for conservative, non-systemic option for pain vs. surgical intervention, adding mechanical intermittent traction to your care plan may be an effective measure:

Surgical intervention

Policy and protocol are driving a more conservative approach to treating patients for cervical (neck) pain. Surgical interventions are being viewed as a last resort plan of care. More invasive, costly hospital readmittance, and risk of infection are just a few of the potential adverse impacts of surgery. All of which drive cost of care upward. Research shows, there are non-operative treatments that can be efficacious. A care plan that includes mechanical intermittent traction is a good option. Patients can experience faster recovery times, become active faster, with lower pain levels.

Manual traction

Manual therapy is a common treatment for patients suffering from the symptoms of radiculopathy. Despite the treatment’s popularity, a study from the US National Library of Medicine says there is low evidence to support the long-term effectiveness of manual therapy for cervical radiculopathy. It might provide patients with pain relief, but the results are temporary and short term.

Mechanical traction

Recent cervical traction research (2014) shows mechanical intermittent traction, combined with exercise, is effective for patients with cervical radiculopathy, and they experienced lower disability and pain levels in long term follow ups. Mechanical intermittent traction should be strongly considered as a core treatment option.

Your patients deserve interventions that provide significant, long-lasting pain relief.

Manual traction vs Mechanical (Intermittent Traction)

The research

“Comparison between the effectiveness of Mechanical and Manual Traction combined with mobilization and exercise therapy in Patients with Cervical Radiculopathy.” A randomized control trial was conducted at the department of physical therapy and rehabilitation, Rathore Hospital Faisalabad, from February to July 2015.

Study results

Although both manual therapy, and mechanical traction techniques are widely used, this randomized trial published February 2016 in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences concludes; patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy treated with mechanical intermittent traction, segmental mobilization, and exercise will manage pain and disability more effectively than those treated with manual traction, segmental mobilization, and exercise.

Manual Traction vs Mechanical (Intermittent Traction)

There is evidence to support the conclusion that manual traction is less effective in relieving patient pain and discomfort associated with cervical radiculopathy. By adding mechanical intermittent traction to exercise, and segmental mobilization, you may provide better pain relief and lower the neck disability for your patients. Consider a care plan that includes Mechanical Intermittent Traction for patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy.