Manual Cervical Traction and Trunk Stabilization Cause Significant Changes in Upper and Lower Esophageal Sphincter: A Randomized Trial



      Dysfunctions in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) levels can occur owing to poor muscle coordination, contraction, or relaxation. Such condition can possibly be addressed by functional rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to measure pressure changes in the UES and LES at rest and during routine rehabilitation techniques, that is, cervical manual traction and trunk stabilization maneuver.


      This study was conducted in a University Hospital Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Center. Cervical manual traction and a trunk stabilization maneuver were performed in a convenient group of 54 adult patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. High-resolution manometry was used to measure pressure changes in the LES and UES at rest and during manual cervical traction and trunk stabilization maneuver.


      Average initial resting UES pressure was 90.91 mmHg. A significant decrease was identified during both cervical traction (average UES pressure = 42.13 mmHg, P < .001) and trunk stabilization maneuver (average UES pressure = 62.74 mmHg, P = .002). The average initial resting LES pressure was 14.31 mmHg. A significant increase in LES pressure was identified both during cervical traction (average LES pressure = 21.39 mmHg, P < .001) and during the trunk stabilization maneuver, (average pressure = 24.09 mmHg, P < .001).


      Cervical traction and trunk stabilization maneuvers can be used to decrease pressure in the UES and increase LES pressure in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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