The Efficacy of Forward Head Correction on Nerve Root Function and Pain in Cervical Spondylotic Radiculopathy: A Randomized Trial

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The Efficacy of Forward Head Correction on Nerve Root Function and Pain in Cervical Spondylotic Radiculopathy: A Randomized Trial

Diab AA, Moustafa IM.

Basic Science Department,
Faculty of Physical Therapy,
Cairo University, Egypt.


Objective:   To investigate the effect of forward head posture correction on pain and nerve root function in cases of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy.

Design:   A randomized controlled study with six months follow-up. Setting: University research laboratory.

Subjects:   Ninety-six patients with unilateral lower cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (C5-C6 and C6-C7) and craniovertebral angle measured less than or equal to 50° were randomly assigned to an exercise or a control group.

INTERVENTIONS:   The control group (n = 48) received ultrasound and infrared radiation, whereas the exercise group (n = 48) received a posture corrective exercise programme in addition to ultrasound and infrared radiation.

Main outcome measures:   The peak-to-peak amplitude of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials, craniovertebral angle, visual analogue scale were measured for all patients at three intervals (before treatment, after 10 weeks of treatment, and at follow-up of six months).

Results:   There was a significant difference between groups adjusted to baseline value of outcome at 10 weeks post-treatment for craniovertebral angle, pain, C6 and C7 peak-to-peak amplitude of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials P = 0.000, 0.01, 0.000, 0.001 respectively and at follow-up for all previous variables (P = 0.000).

Conclusion:   Forward head posture correction using a posture corrective exercise programme in addition to ultrasound and infrared radiation decreased pain and craniovertebral angle and increased the peak-to-peak amplitude of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials for C6 and C7 in cases of lower cervical spondylotic radiculopathy.

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