Examination of the cervical region

Arterial dysfunction screening prior to cervical spine manipulation

Cervical Arterial Dysfunction (CAD) in patients presenting with neck complaints is a rare event, but critical when considering the application of cervical spine manipulation techniques.  The vertebral artery test is a very commonly used test prior to manipulation. However, an important principle of the assessment is that clinicians cannot rely on the results of one test to draw conclusions, in this case regarding the presence or risk of CAD. Thus, this paper aims to provide a framework based on a risk: benefit analysis, which will guide clinicians in the assessment of the cervical region for potential CAD.


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