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BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006864
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)

Safe physiotherapy interventions in large cervical disc herniations

  1. Aisling Gaughran
  1. Department of Physiotherapy, St Patrick's Hospital, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Keramat Ullah Keramat, Karamatjee{at}gmail.com, karamatjee{at}yahoo.com

A 34-year-old woman was seen in a physiotherapy department with signs and symptoms of cervical radiculopathy. Loss of cervical lordosis and a large paracentral to intraforaminal disc prolapse (8 mm) at C5–C6 level was reported on MRI. She was taking diclofenac sodium, tramadol HCl, diazepam and pregabalin for the preceding 2 months and no significant improvement, except temporary relief, was reported. She was referred to physiotherapy while awaiting a surgical opinion from a neurosurgeon. In physiotherapy she was treated with mobilisation of the upper thoracic spine from C7 to T6 level. A cervical extension exercise was performed with prior voluntary extension of the thoracic spine and elevated shoulders. She was advised to continue the same at home. General posture advice was given. Signs and symptoms resolved within the following four sessions of treatment over 3 weeks. Surgical intervention was subsequently deemed unnecessary.

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