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Cervical Distraction Test

The cervical distraction test is used to evaluate the contribution of cervical radiculopathy to patient symptoms. To perform this test, have the patient lying in a supine position. Place each hand over the patient’s mastoid processes while standing at the head of the bed. Slightly flex the patient’s neck forward and pull their head towards you, applying a distraction force at the posterior of the head. Alternatively, this test can be performed in a seated position. A positive test is when the patient’s symptoms are reduced with traction.

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