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Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. 2012 Nov-Dec;14(6):515-24. doi: 10.5604/15093492.1024714.

The effect of Saunders traction and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on the cervical spine range of motion in patients reporting neck pain - pilot study.

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Department of Special Methods in Physiotherapy and Sports of the Disabled, University of Physical Education, Katowice.



It is estimated that about 80% of the general population occasionally experience spinal pain, with as many as 50% reporting pain in the cervical spine. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of treatment of cervical spine pain with the Saunders traction device and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) by assessing their impact on the cervical spine range of motion in the sagittal, coronal and horizontal planes.


A total of 39 patients aged 26 to 62 years took part in the study. All patients reported chronic cervical spine pain caused by overload and postural insufficiency. The participants were randomly divided into three experimental groups. The first group was treated with Saunders traction where the traction force was administered so that the patient would experience noticeable but painless traction. The second group received traction as well as classic transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, whereas the third group received only TENS. Each patient attended 10 treatment sessions not more than three days apart. Measurements of the range of motion were performed with the CROM instrument before and after the first session, after the fifth and tenth session and about three weeks after completion of rehabilitation.


The study revealed the greatest ROM improvement in the coronal and horizontal planes and for the extension motion.


The best therapeutic effect was obtained by combining traction with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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