Author(s): Meszaros TF, Olson R, Kulig K, Creighton D, Czarnecki E
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: Single group test-retest repeated measures. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of lumbar traction with 3 different amounts of force (10\%, 30\% and 60\% body weight) on pain-free mobility of the lower extremity as measured by the straight leg raise (SLR) test. BACKGROUND: There are several recommendations on how lumbar traction should be performed, but the duration, frequency, force, and type of technique to be applied differ among the sources. METHODS AND MEASURES: Ten subjects with subjective complaints of low back pain or radicular symptoms with a positive unilateral SLR test below 45 degrees participated in this study. The pain-free mobility of the lower extremity in the SLR test position was measured prior to and immediately following 5 minutes of static traction in the supine position. Random assignment in the order of the amount of applied traction was implemented. RESULTS: The straight leg raise measurements were found to be significantly greater immediately following 30\% and 60\% of body weight traction as compared to pretraction and 10\% of body weight traction. The mean (SD) SLR measurements were pretraction (24.1 degrees +/- 13.0), 10\% of body weight traction (27.4 degrees +/- 14.5), 30\% of body weight traction (34.0 degrees +/- 14.3), 60\% of body weight traction (36.5 degrees +/- 15.8). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that traction in this group of patients improved the mobility of the lower extremity during the SLR test. Both 30\% and 60\% of body weight tractions were shown to be effective for increasing motion beyond pretraction levels.
This article was published in J Orthop Sports Phys Ther
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies