J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2004 Nov;34(11):701-12. Intermittent cervical traction and thoracic manipulation for management of mild cervical compressive myelopathy attributed to cervical herniated disc: a case series. Browder DA1, Erhard RE, Piva SR.


For those of you who have some reservations doing spinal adjustments on the cervical spine in the face of radiculopathy this study offers a viable alternate regime. The patients all had various duration of cervical compression syndrome and received (9) sessions of intermittent cervical traction along with thoracic adjustments. Treatment duration averaged 50 days.  The majority of patients showed good reduction in all subjective indicators. It’s interesting to note several studies have proposed adjusting/manipulation of the thoracic spine appears to have distinct benefits to both cervical pain and especially headaches (though my experience with cervical pain without impingement issues certainly indicates cervical adjusting along with thoracic works better than either alone). Since the spine is a continuous column and the network of muscles act as guide-wires etc this shouldn’t be too surprising.

If you are hesitant to do a cervical rotary (or P-A) manipulation due to myelopathy symptoms the combination of thoracic adjustment (generally done in the “anterior” position which can better maintain the neutral skull) and Kdt cervical procedures of 30 sec hold/15 sec rest  10-15% total bodyweight initially) are a proven option.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *