OBJECTIVE: To evaluate radiographically the effect of manual traction on the length of the cervical spine in healthy individuals. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The sample of the present study included 55 individuals - 12 men (22%) and 43 women (78%) - with no previous history of cervical disorders, submitted to two radiological procedures previously and during manual traction sustained for 120 seconds. Distances between the anterior and posterior edges from the second to the seventh cervical vertebrae were measured and compared before and during manual traction. RESULTS: The median of pre-traction anterior length was 8.40 cm, increasing to 8.50 cm during the traction (p=0.002); and the median of pre-traction posterior length was 8.35 cm, increasing to 8.50 cm during traction (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Application of manual traction resulted in a statistically significant increase in the length the cervical spine in healthy individuals.
Radiography; Cervical spine manipulation; Muscle stretching exercise