Objective: To experimentally investigate the effect of cervical extension-compression traction combined with diversified chiropractic manipulation and drop table adjusting in establishing or increasing cervical lordosis.
Design: Blinded, before and after trial with pre- and postlateral cervical radiographic measurement.
Setting: Primary care private chiropractic clinic in Saugus, MA.
Subjects: A) Control group--convenience sample who had no health care for 10-14 wk, 30 persons. B) Treatment group 1, nonrandomized control trial, 35 persons, whose pre- and postlateral cervical radiographs were taken 10-14 wk apart and whose radiographs clearly depicted C1 through C7. C) Treatment group 2, nonrandomized control trial, 30 persons, whose pre- and postlateral cervical radiographs were taken 10-14 wk apart and whose radiographs clearly depicted C1 through C7.
Interventions: Treatment group 1: diversified spinal manipulation, drop table adjustments and cervical extension-compression traction five times per week for 10-14 wk (12 wk +/- 2). Treatment group 2: diversified spinal manipulation and drop table adjustments five times per week for 10-14 wk (12 wk +/- 2).
Main outcome measures: Anterior head translation millimeters, C2 to C7 absolute rotation angle, angle of C1 to horizontal (atlas plane angle), five relative rotation angles (C2-3, C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, C6-7) and qualitative classification of lordotic configuration.
Results: No statistically significant changes existed between the pre- and posttests for the control group except in the C6-7 relative rotation angle. In the treatment group 1, statistically significant differences were found in all X-ray markings. Twenty-nine of 35 members have a lordosis after treatment compared to 11 of 35 before treatment. The C2 to C7 angle changed an average 13.2 degrees, C1 to horizontal changed an average 9.8 degrees, the anterior head translation reduced an average of 6.8 mm, the average relative rotation angle changed: C2-3: 3.1, C3-4: 5.5, C4-5: 4.80, C5-6: 2.7 and C6-7: 1.1. In the treatment group 2, no statistically significant changes existed between the pre- and posttests except atlas angulation to horizontal which increased an average of 3.0 degrees.
Conclusions: A transformation to a lordotic configuration or increase in lordotic configuration occurred and was measured in the majority of treatment group 1 subjects, while no change in the control group and essentially no change in treatment group 2 was measured. Extension-compression traction combined with diversified chiropractic manipulation and drop table adjusting procedures may improve or partially reestablish the cervical lordosis in 10-14 wk of daily care.