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When seeing patients, we should also always consider, do we actually need to treat them and do we need to treat them now or should we wait?

In general, cervical radiculopathy has a favorable prognosis: 83% of patients completely recover in 24 to 36 months.

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Erik Thoomes's lecture here:

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Here are 3 interventions to help manage cervical radiculopathy:

1. Spinal mobilization

Afzal et al. (2019) compared manual traction, manual opening techniques, and a combination of these in patients with CR, and the effects of both techniques were equally effective in functional outcomes. Although most authors observed improvement in patients’ functional outcomes using traction or a traction component in a multimodal approach, some did not find that adding traction was successful in treating CR [53].

Shafique et al. (2019) also proved that multimodal treatment could provide better effects in patients with cervical radiculopathy. This was based on spinal mobilizations, neuro-dynamics and arm movements.2

2. Neurodynamic mobilization

Neurodynamic mobilization attempts to restore relative movement of the neural tissue and the surrounding mechanical interfaces.

The theoretical model of neurodynamic mobilization is thought to improve neural, vascularity and nerve movement and it reduces intraneural oedema and as a result, intraneural homeostasis should be restored by reducing that oedema.

One specific neurodynamic mobilization technique is the Contra-lateral Cervical Lateral Glide technique, or CCLG. It has been reported to be effective in patients with nerve related arm pain and is often part of conservative treatment guidelines.1

3. Motor control exercises and aerobic exercises

Motor control therapeutic exercise (MCTE) for the neck is a motor relearning program that emphasizes the coordination and contraction of specific neck flexor, extensor, and shoulder girdle muscles.

Individualized physical fitness can be increased, supporting the body's intrinsic healing processes, but you should consider the postures people exercise in.

Riding a bicycle and swimming might not be the best postures for patients with a cervical radiculopathy. Power walking and maybe a crosstrainer considering not reaching their arm as far as possible can be advised.3


If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Erik Thoomes's lecture here:

Click here



1. Lecture 'Cervical Radiculolathy' by Erik Thoomes

2. Tomasz Kuligowski, Anna Skrzek, and Błażej Cieślik, Manual Therapy in Cervical and Lumbar Radiculopathy: A Systematic Review of the Literature;Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun; 18(11): 6176. Published online 2021 Jun 7.

3. Amanda Hidalgo‐Peréz, PT, Ángela Fernández‐García, PT, and Roy La Touche, PT, MSc, PhD; Effectiveness of a motor control therapeutic exercise program combined with motor imagery on the sensorimotor function of the cervical spine: A randomised control trial;Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015 Nov; 10(6): 877–892.

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