Neural mobilization: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials with an analysis of therapeutic efficacy

Richard F. Ellis, Wayne A. Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Neural mobilization is a treatment modality used in relation to pathologies of the nervous system. It has been suggested that neural mobilization is an effective treatment modality, although support of this suggestion is primarily anecdotal. The purpose of this paper was to provide a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the therapeutic efficacy of neural mobilization. A search to identify randomized controlled trials investigating neural mobilization was conducted using the key words neural mobilisation/mobilization, nerve mobilisation/mobilization, neural manipulative physical therapy, physical therapy, neural/nerve glide, nerve glide exercises, nerve/neural treatment, nerve/neural stretching, neurodynamics, and nerve/neural physiotherapy. The titles and abstracts of the papers identified were reviewed to select papers specifically detailing neural mobilization as a treatment modality. The PEDro scale, a systematic tool used to critique RCTs and grade methodological quality, was used to assess these trials. Methodological assessment allowed an analysis of research investigating therapeutic efficacy of neural mobilization. Ten randomized clinical trials (discussed in 11 retrieved articles) were identified that discussed the therapeutic effect of neural mobilization. This review highlights the lack in quantity and quality of the available research. Qualitative analysis of these studies revealed that there is only limited evidence to support the use of neural mobilization. Future research needs to re-examine the application of neural mobilization with use of more homogeneous study designs and pathologies; in addition, it should standardize the neural mobilization interventions used in the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-22
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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