Non-surgical improvement of cervical lordosis is possible in advanced spinal osteoarthritis: a CBP® case report

J Phys Ther Sci. 2018 Jan;30(1):108-112. doi: 10.1589/jpts.30.108. Epub 2018 Jan 27.


[Purpose] To present a case of the non-surgical improvement in cervical kyphosis in a patient with history of cervical spine trauma and advanced osteoarthritis. [Subject and Methods] A 38 year old male presented with a chief complaint of chronic neck pain that was not substantially relieved by recent previous traditional physiotherapy and chiropractic manipulation. The cervical radiograph demonstrated a cervical hypolordosis of 5° as measured by the Harrison posterior tangent method from C2-C7. There was a 15° kyphosis at C4-C6 with advanced degenerative changes consistent with previous spine trauma. The patient was treated by CBP® methods incorporating cervical extension traction, extension exercises, and spinal manipulation for 30 sessions over an 18 week period. [Results] After the treatment sessions, there was a substantial (27°) increase in global C2-C7 lordosis, and 5° decrease in C4-C6 degenerative kyphosis corresponding to the reduction in neck pain and disability, and an improvement in overall health status as indicated on the SF-36 health questionnaire. [Conclusion] Although degenerative spondylosis of the cervical spine will have physical limitations to non-surgical correction, this case serves as an example that it is possible to reduce degenerative kyphosis and increase global cervical lordosis corresponding to health improvements in these patients.

Keywords: Cervical kyphosis; Extension traction; Osteoarthritis.