Boyles et al 2011 decided to determine if manual therapy can help with cervical radiculopathy. A cervical radiculopathy is when a hypomobile cervical joint impinges on a spinal nerve root and causes a shooting pain (generally in the arms).

Boyels and his colleagues took randomized control trials in which 3 of the 4 following criteria were used to determine that the patient did have a cervical radiculopathy; a positive spurling test, a positive distraction test, an ipsilateral loss of cervical rotation of at least 30 degrees and a positive upper limb tension test A.

Evidence indicates that when 3 of the 4 are present, there is 94% specificity with cervical radiculopathy.

The studies which met inclusion criteria used techniques which included retractions, P-A glides, lateral glides, ULTT-1 flossing and rotations. The studies included pain questionnaires, manual therapy, exercise therapy and functional outcome measures. 53-57% of patients showed normalization of their symptoms within 12 weeks.

They concluded that while a specific protocol for cervical radiculopathy has not been developed, a general trend for manual therapy has been demonstrated. Almost all patients had improvements over 12 weeks and more than half returned to pre-injury levels of function in 12 weeks or less. There are indications that most returned to normalized function within 32 weeks.

Consider that more and more evidence is mounting to support manual therapy for many conditions. Give physiotherapy and chiropractic medicine a try J