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The Effectiveness of Cervical Spondylosis Therapy with Saunders Traction Device and High-Intensity Laser Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Robert Haładaj, Mariusz Pingot, Mirosław Topol

(Department of Physiotherapy, University of Social Sciences in Łódź, Łódź, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:335-342

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899454

BACKGROUND: Among all spinal therapies, treatment of the cervical segment is the most difficult. The cervical segment is particularly sensitive to injuries and pain, and it also requires special care due to its great mobility and most delicate construction. The aim of this research was to evaluate analgesic efficacy and improvement of active mobility of the cervical spine after traction therapy with the Saunders device and high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) immediately after therapy, and in short-, medium-, and long-term follow-up in patients with cervical spondylosis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 174 patients (114 women and 60 men) aged 24–67 years. The patients were divided into two randomized groups. In group I (88 subjects) traction therapy with the Saunders device was applied, and in group II (86 subjects) HILT was applied. The measurement of the range of cervical spine movement, a subjective visual scale for pain (Visual Analog Scale [VAS]), and the Neck Disability Index-Polish Version (NDI) questionnaire were used.
RESULTS: The results obtained by the Saunders and HILT methods were similar immediately after the therapy and after 4 weeks (the medium-term follow-up). However, in long-term follow-up, there was a significant increase in the maintenance of positive therapeutic effects with the HILT method.
CONCLUSIONS: Both therapeutic methods improved the efficiency and demonstrated analgesic efficacy in patients with cervical spondylosis immediately and in the medium term after the therapy. HILT was more effective than the Saunders method in long-term follow-up.

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