The purpose of this study was to evaluate functional changes in the cervical intervertebral foramen during the axial compression test (ACT), axial distraction test (DT), and Spurling test (SST). 23 participants without history of significant spinal disorders were studied. The 3-dimensional sequence of the magnetic resonance imaging of the foramen was performed whilst measurements were taken of FCSA and foramen shape. These measurements were conducted under 4 different conditions; control-resting in supine, DT-neck in neutral with a 12 kg distraction force, ACT-neck in neutral with a 7 kg axial compression force, SST-the cervical spine was extended (12.79 degrees ), rotated (63.36 degrees ), and laterally flexed (28.49 degrees ), in a standardized manner.Â At all levels except for C7-Th1, the FCSA significantly increased during the DT to around 120% of control. In contrast, FCSA significantly decreased to approximately 70% of control at all levels during the SST. In addition, there were significant differences in foramen shape between the ACT and SST condition, but only at the C4-C5 and C5-C6 levels.
During 3 clinical tests for cervical radiculopathy functional, relevant, and changes in the cervical intervertebral foramen were evident particularly in the middle cervical spine.
Takasaki H, Hall T, Jull G, Kaneko S, Iizawa T, Ikemoto Y. The influence of cervical traction, compression, and spurling test on cervical intervertebral foramen size. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Jul 15;34(16):1658-62