A survey of the clinical use of lumbar traction.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


PURPOSE: The evidence for the efficacy of traction remains inconclusive due to; poor methodological quality and the lack of appropriate treatment parameters in many trials. The purpose of this survey is to identify; the current use of lumbar traction, the type of patients that receive it, and the treatment parameters commonly used when employing traction in the management of low back pain (LBP). RELEVANCE: The selection of treatment parameters that adequately reflect clinical practise is essential when designing a randomised controlled trial, as this may lead to substantial bias in a trial. The results of this study will inform the design of a high quality study. To date there are no high quality studies available that also meet clinical criteria and the evidence base remains inconclusive as to the efficacy of lumbar traction. SUBJECTS: This pilot study surveyed 22 physiotherapists who use traction as part of their management of LBP. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A questionnaire, using open and closed questions was distributed to participating physiotherapists. Question areas included; background information on the therapist, traction usage, patient selection, and treatment parameters. ANALYSIS: Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the social services (SPSS) and consisted principally of descriptive statistics. RESULTS: traction was used with 21.5% (mean) of LBP patients, and was most commonly used in the treatment of nerve root pain. Treatment parameters tended to reflect those recommended by Maitland and Grieve and this reflects the postgraduate training in the area surveyed. CONCLUSION: This pilot study demonstrates a greater use of traction than previously reported and details the parameters. The main survey will provide guidelines for the treatment parameters of traction and will be used to design a high quality RCT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherWorld Confederation for Physical Therapy
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Jun 2003
Event14th International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy -
Duration: 7 Jun 2003 → …


Conference14th International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy
Period7/06/03 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'A survey of the clinical use of lumbar traction.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this