Less Neck Pain And Improved Mobility With Spinal Decompression And Exercise
Decompression therapy is a nonsurgical program designed to relieve pain in the lower back and neck, using a machine to slowly and gently stretch the spine. The theory is that stretching the spine will assist in taking pressure off of a compressed nerve root, therefore help to relieve pain.
A multimodal approach for patients diagnosed with cervical spondyloarthrosis with radicular symptoms was useful in this geriatric population to reduce pain, minimize radicular symptoms, and improve functional outcomes.
10 patients, aged 67 to 82 years were referred for medically pre-diagnosed cervical spondyloarthrosis and radiculopathy, as determined by Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) .
Neck Disability Index (NDI), numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), upper limb tension testing, Spurling's test, and the cervical distraction test were all completed on each patient at initial examination and at discharge.
NDI and NPRS data were also collected at 6 months’ post treatment. Intervention included manual therapy (including high-velocity low-amplitude thrust manipulation) of the upper thoracic and cervical spine, intermittent mechanical cervical traction, and a home program (including deep cervical Blexor strengthening) for 6 to 12 sessions over a period of 3 to 6 weeks.
All 10 patients had substantial improvement in NPRS and NDI scores. The mean NPRS score was less than 1/10, and the mean NDI score was 6/50 at discharge, compared to the original mean NPRS and NDI scores of 5.7 and 27.4, respectively. All patients reported maintaining those gains for 6 months.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2011;41(10):723-733, Epub4 September 2011. doi:10.2519/jospt.2011.3592