Effectiveness of static and intermittent cervical tractions in the management of patients with chronic non-specific neck pain: A pilot randomised trial
Background: Physiotherapists commonly employ cervical traction for patients with neck pain. There is a dearth of literature on the effects of static and intermittent cervical traction on pain, range of motion and disability among patients with chronic non-specific neck pain. Therefore, this study aims to compare the effect of static and intermittent cervical traction on pain, disability and range of motion among patients with chronic, non-specific neck pain.
Methods: Twenty-four participants were randomised into two groups – Static and Intermittent cervical traction respectively. They were recruited from the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dala-Kano, Kano. Both groups received exercises and infrared treatment, in addition to Static and Intermittent cervical traction. Outcomes were assessed at the baseline and at the end of six weeks of intervention. Pain was assessed through the use of a Visual Analogue Scale, neck disability through a Neck Disability Index questionnaire and cervical range of motion with a goniometer. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and alpha was set at <0.05.
Results: The mean ages of the participants were 46.00±7.81 and 36.00±15.02 for the groups Static and Intermittent respectively. Both groups were comparable at baseline (p>0.05). Both Static and Intermittent cervical traction was effective in reducing the disability (p<0.05) and pain (p<0.05). There was no significant difference between the groups at six weeks in terms of pain, disability and range of motion (P>0.05).
Conclusion and recommendation: Both Static and Intermittent cervical traction effectively manages chronic, non-specific neck pain and neither is superior to the other.
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