The effect of intermittent, mechanical cervical traction in the chiropractic management of mechanical neck pain
Wood, Timothy George
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of two seemingly different approaches to manipulation of the cervical spine in the treatment of cervical spine dysfunction. The researcher postulated that a manual manipulation would have a greater effect in reducing pain and increasing range of motion that accompanies cervical dysfunction than an instrumental, low force, high velocity thrust delivered by means of an Activator Adjusting Instrument. The reason for this is that it provides greater joint movement. Methods This randomised controlled trial consisted of two treatment groups. Each group consisted of 15 subjects, between the ages of 16 and 65 years, selected from the general population and randomly allocated to treatment group A or B. Group A received instrumental thrusts delivered by an Activator Adjusting Instrument (AAI), while group B received standard diversified manual manipulations to the dysfunctional joints in the cervical spine. Each subject was assessed by using subjective measures of the CMCC Neck Disability Index, Numerical Pain Rating Scale and McGill Short- Form questionnaire; and the objective measure of degrees of cervical range of motion obtained using a cervical goniometer (CROM). Two tailed statistical analysis was conducted at a = 0.05, using the non-parametric Wilcoxin Signed Rank Test and the Mann-Whitney U Test comparing intra-group and inter-group data respectively. Further assessment of the data was conducted using power analysis. This data as well as the descriptive statistics were presented in tables and bar charts.