Physical Therapy and Cervical Traction: Effective Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy

Physical Therapy and Cervical Traction: Effective Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy

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Cervical radiculopathy is a neck condition where the nerve roots leaving the spinal cord at the neck level are compressed and the signals to and from the spinal cord are decreased. This can be a cause of neck and arm pain and sometimes causes weakness, numbness, tingling, and decreased reflexes in the arm.

A common cause of cervical radiculopathy is when a disc bulge or herniation compresses the nerve.

While this may sound scary, the good news is your body’s tissues can heal. This is a common condition effectively treated in Physical Therapy (PT) which offers a low cost option when compared to expensive steroid injections, MRIs, or surgery.

Please see one of our recent success stories of a patient who presented to our clinic cervical radiculopathy of 3 months duration. He had been to two other PT practices and a chiropractor without improvement prior to seeing us. We treated him with a combination of manual therapy, cervical traction, and spine stabilization exercise. He was scheduled to see a surgeon for a surgical consul, however, he noticed so much improvement in two weeks that he cancelled this appointment!

Research, suggests physical therapy with cervical traction is better than physical therapy with just exercise, especially for long term gains. Please check out this free handout from the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy discussing the benefits of cervical traction.

Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that can be diagnosed with a clinical exam without the need for imaging. Most insurances do not require a referral for PT, so if you have neck and arm pain that is not improving, please give us a call to schedule an appointment or a free phone consultation. We would love to get you on the road to recovery!

Andy Grupa, PT, DPT OCS

Colleen Harris

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