Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not mechanical traction is a safe and effective treatment for patients with chronic neck pain.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English-language randomized clinical trials (RCTs) published in 2008, 2009, and 2011.

DATA SOURCES: Two double-blind randomized clinical trials and one single-blind randomized clinical trial were found using PubMed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Decrease in neck pain was measured through subjective pain rating scales performed prior to and after treatment of both those receiving mechanical traction and those not receiving mechanical traction.

RESULTS: While patients reported a decrease in pain, the results were not significant for mechanical traction to effectively treat chronic neck pain.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the randomized clinical trials demonstrate that mechanical traction is a safe treatment but does not provide significant differences in treating chronic neck pain.