[Assessment of rehabilitation progress in patients with cervical radicular pain syndrome after application of high intensity laser therapy - HILT and Saunders traction device]

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2015 Jul;39(229):23-30.
[Article in Polish]


Osteoarthritis of the spine is a major global health problem, it is an epidemic of our times. It affects all parts of the spine, but the hardest to treat is its cervical region. The cervical spine is most mobile, delicate and sensitive to any load. It requires special care in conservative treatment. To date the selection of effective therapeutic approaches has been controversial.

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the progress of rehabilitation in patients with cervical radicular pain syndrome after using two different methods of treatment: HILT and spinal axial traction with the use of Saunders device.

Materials and methods: The randomized study included 150 patients (81 women and 69 men, aged 24-67 years, mean age 45.5) divided into two groups of 75 patients each with characteristic symptoms of radicular pain. The measurement of the range of cervical spine movement of the cervical spine, visual analog scale for pain - VAS and a NDI questionnaire (Neck Disability Index - Polish version) - an indicator of functional disorders - were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the two different therapies.

Results: The results obtained by Saunders method remained significantly higher than those obtained when HILT laser therapy was used for most of the examined parameters. A thorough analysis of the results showed greater analgesic efficacy, improved global mobility and reduced functional impairment in patients treated with Saunders method.

Conclusions: Both therapeutic methods manifest analgesic effect and a positive impact on the improvement of range of cervical spine movement in patients with radicular pain in this spine region. HILT laser therapy and Saunders traction device reduce neck disability index in the treated patients.

Keywords: HILT laser therapy; NDI questionnaire; Saunders traction device; VAS pain scale; cervical radicular pain syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / classification
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Osteoarthritis, Spine / complications*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome
  • Traction / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome