Review Article

Effects of Neural Mobilization Techniques on Pain and Disability in Patients With Neurodynamic Dysfunction: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials


Introduction: Neural mobilization is the most important technique used for the treatment of nervous system dysfunction. This study aimed to systematically review and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of neural mobilization techniques in nervous system dysfunctions by assessing Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (RCTs).
Materials and Methods: We used all English papers published in five electronic databases from 2000 to 2020 using the following keywords: “neural mobilization”, “nerve mobilization”, “physical therapy”, “nerve glide exercises”, “neural stretching”, “neurodynamics”, and “neural physiotherapy”. The full text of the articles identified was reviewed to select papers specifically discussing neural mobilization as a treatment modality. The PEDro scale was used to assess the quality of these trials. The randomized clinical trials were selected that examined the therapeutic effect of neural mobilization.
Results: Twelve RCTs were identified. Five RCTs used the same median nerve tensioning technique in patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). In some studies, the methods of neural mobilization were different. Fourteen papers examined different neurodynamic dysfunctions such as lateral epicondylalgia, radicular neck pain, postoperative spinal surgery, radicular low back pain, and chronic tension-type headache. There is moderate evidence (Level 2) to support distal nerve tensioning and tendon gliding techniques in CTS patients. Also, there was limited (Level 3) and insufficient (Level 4) evidence about using cervical lateral gliding away from their involved side and upper limb tension test mobilization and the use of slump stretches and combinations techniques in the treatment of neurodynamic dysfunction, respectively. Besides, all studies reported a positive effect compared to neutral effects.
Conclusion: Although clinicians frequently use neuromobilization techniques for both diagnosis and treatment of nervous system dysfunctions, the quality assessment of 20 RCTs has shown insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of these techniques in the treatment of nervous system dysfunctions.

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IssueVol 15 No 4 (2021) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Neural mobilization Neurodynamics Randomized controlled trial Systematic review Therapeutic efficacy

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How to Cite
Shamsi H, Khademi-Kalantari K, Okhovatian F. Effects of Neural Mobilization Techniques on Pain and Disability in Patients With Neurodynamic Dysfunction: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. jmr. 2021;15(4):209-218.