A systematic literature review on the effectiveness of non-invasive therapy for cervicobrachial pain

Emma Salt, Christine Wright, Susan Kelly, A Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


Cervicobrachial pain is a common cervical spine disorder. It is frequently managed through non-invasive therapy. The objective of this systematic review was to assess effectiveness of non-invasive therapy for the management of cervicobrachial pain, in terms of pain, function and disability. Computerised searches were performed to January 2010. Studies were selected using pre-specified criteria. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using PEDro and level of inter-reviewer agreement reported using Kappa values. Meta-analyses were conducted on pain scores for similar interventions using DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model to allow for heterogeneity. Effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals were reported. Qualitative analyses, based on Centre for Evidence Based Medicine levels of evidence, were conducted for function and disability. Eleven studies were included in the review. Interventions included general physiotherapy, cervical traction, manual therapy, exercise therapy, and behavioural change approaches. There was inconclusive evidence for the effectiveness of non-invasive management of cervicobrachial pain. Potential benefits were indicated in the provision of manual therapy and exercise and behavioural change approaches to reduce pain. General physiotherapy and traction were no more effective than comparators in reducing pain (level A evidence). Effects of non-invasive management on function and disability were mixed. Future studies should identify which sub-groups of cervicobrachial pain respond to specific interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic literature review on the effectiveness of non-invasive therapy for cervicobrachial pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this