1Baskent University, Vocational School of Health, Department of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Turkey - 2Okan University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy& Rehabilitation, Turkey - 3Baskent University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy& Rehabilitation, Turkey - 4Ankara University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Ankara, Turkey


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of traction therapy in addition to conventional physiotherapy modalities on pain and functionality in patients with chronic lumbar disc herniation. Patients (n=210, mean age=48.20±13.07 years, mean height=167.2±9.34 and mean weight= 74.86±13.47) were diagnosed with lumbar disc hernia through a clinical evaluation and an MRI and were graded as “protrusion or bulging lumbar herniation” according to the Macnab Classification. Patients were then randomly divided into 3 groups: the first group (n=70) underwent a hot pack (HP), Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), ultrasounds (US) and home exercise (HE); the second group (n=75) underwent additional traction therapy compared to the first group and the third group (n=65) was given only home exercise. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients were recorded. All assessments were done before and after the treatments (4th week). Pain and functional status of patients were evaluated. There were no significant differences between the groups (p>0.05) except for pain score (p<0.05). Comparing within groups showed improvements in all parameters after treatment (p<0.05). Although there was a significant dif- ference between group 1 and group 3, group 2 and group 3 in pain scores (p< 0.05), there was no significant difference found for other outcome measures. It was observed that in all treatment groups, there was a significant reduction of pain and functional impairment. Traction therapy wasn’t more effective than other treatments for patients with lumbar disc herniation. As a clinical outcome not only physiotherapy modalities are effective, but also specific home exercises could be considered as a form of treat- ment for patients with lumbar disc hernia.


Lumbar Disc, Hernia, Traction