Are isokinetic exercises used in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

Isokinetic exercises of the neck and upper extremities are not functional and are not recommended as a strengthening tool. In contrast, isolated strengthening of individual muscles that have become weak as a result of the radiculopathy is important before beginning more complex activities involving multiple muscles. In the initial phases of treatment, strengthening should be limited to isometric exercises in the involved extremity. Once all radicular symptoms have resolved, then progressive isotonic strengthening may begin. This should initially stress low weight and high repetitions (15-20 repetitions). Closed kinetic chain activities can be very helpful in rehabilitating weak shoulder girdle muscles. However, a multicenter randomized controlled trial found no significant difference with the addition of specific neck stabilization exercises to a program of general neck advice and exercise. [35]


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