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Cervical Traction for Neck Pain

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Cervical Traction for Neck Pain

What is cervical traction?

Traction of the spine, or cervical traction, is a successful treatment for neck pain and related injuries. Basically, cervical traction pulls your head away from your neck to create expansion and eliminate compression. It is regarded as an alternative treatment for neck pain and avoids the need for prescriptions or surgical procedures. It may be used as a part of physical therapy or at home.

Cervical traction tools gently stretch the neck to reduce pressure on your bones by pulling or bending the vertebrae. A wide variety of physicians and testimonials claim that this kind of treatment is both quick and effective. See what you can get by learning about cervical traction tools and how they work.

Benefits of cervical traction

Cervical traction devices help relieve neck pain, tightness, and tension caused by different ailments and conditions. The devices help revitalize the muscles, decreasing pain and increasing flexibility. It can also be used to treat and flatten bulging or herniated disks. It can help with pain from joints and ligament injuries, sprains, and spasms. It can also help with neck injuries, pinched nerves, and cervical spondylosis.

Traction devices work by stretching and pulling spinal vertebrae and muscles to relieve pain. Force or tension is used to stretch or pull the head of the patient away from the neck. By doing this, you can make space between the vertebrae and the muscles, allowing them to relax and stretch. 

These improvements may help with your mobility, range of motion, and alignment, which will let more of the latter allow you to perform your daily activities with ease.

A 2017 meta-analysis of studies analyzed the efficacy of traction in reducing neck pain. This analysis revealed that treatment led to significant reductions in neck pain immediately following therapy, as well as less pain in the follow-up period. Further investigation is necessary to determine the long-term impact of this treatment.

A 2014 study found that mechanical traction was more effective than other types of treatment for treating people with pinched nerves and neck pain. Mechanical traction was more effective than exercise alone, or in combination with the use of over-door traction.

How it’s done

Cervical traction can be done in several ways, such as with a physical therapist or on your own at home. You and your therapist can discuss which method is the best fit for you.

Your physical therapist may advise you to purchase cervical traction equipment to use at home. Certain devices may require you to have a prescription. Cervical traction devices are available online and in medical supply stores. Your physical therapist should teach you how to use the equipment properly before you use it on your own.

it’s vital that you go to your physical therapist even if you’re performing home treatments. Your therapist will make sure you’re performing the right treatment, monitor your progress, and provide you with extra therapy if necessary.

Manual cervical traction

By a licensed physical therapist, manual cervical traction is done while you are in a lying-down position. They slowly pull your head away from your neck while they hold this position.  They will hold this posture for a number of cycles, and then release and repeat. Your therapist will modify your specific position in order to get the best traction results.

Mechanical cervical traction

A physical therapist may use a mechanical cervical traction apparatus to pull your head away from your neck and spine. The therapist affixes a harness to your neck and shoulders, attaching the harness to a machine or system of weights that apply traction force to draw your head away from your cervical spine.

Over-the-door cervical traction

An over-the-door wheelchair traction device is for home use. You attach your head and upper body to a harness. This is connected to the rope that runs over a door and is a part of a weighted pulley system that goes through the door. This can be done by sitting, leaning back, or lying down.

Side effects and warnings

Cervical traction is generally safe, but its effectiveness differs from one person to another.  The treatment should be totally pain-free. 

You may experience side effects, such as headache, dizziness, and nausea, when your body is repositioned in this way. This could even cause fainting. Stop once you experience any of these side effects, and discuss them in your doctor or physical therapist.

It’s possible for you to injure your tissue, neck, or spine. You should avoid cervical traction if you have:

It’s important that you comply with any safety recommendations provided by your doctor or by the manufacturer, and be sure you are performing the exercises correctly and making use of the right amount of weight. Don’t overexert yourself by doing cervical traction for too long. Be sure to stop using the product if you experience pain or anything else that gets worse.

Cervical traction exercises

Numerous exercises are performed by making use of cervical traction instruments. Be sure to listen to your body and stay near your edge or limit in terms of stretching and the duration of your exercises.

To use an air neck traction device, place it around your neck and fasten the straps. Then, pump it up and exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Do this a number of times throughout the day. You can exercise with the device while you are engaging in sedentary tasks.

Using an over-the-door neck traction device, you will usually start with about 10 to 20 pounds of pulling force, which can be gradually increased as you gain strength. Your physical therapist will be able to recommend the appropriate level of weight for you to work with. Hold and try to pull the weight for 10 to 20 seconds, then slowly release it. Repeat this for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. You can do this a few times throughout the day.

A Posture Pump is used while lying down. Do a warm-up before using this equipment. Slowly move from side to side, then forward and backward, and then incline your head from side to side. Do each exercise 10 times. Attach the device to your head and inflate it with air until it presses heavily against your forehead. Keep it pumping for ten seconds, then release the air. Do this 15 times. Then inflate the unit and relax in a comfortable position for up to 15 minutes. Do not pump it too much, especially at the beginning. Once you’re done releasing the air, keep your head down and in line with your neck as you transition into a standing position. Do a 15-second warm-up as per your initial instructions.

You may also wish to include stretching to your everyday routine. You can use accessories such as exercise balls or resistance bands. Yoga is another great method to relieve neck pain, and there are a number of cervical traction exercises your physical therapist may be able to recommend that don’t include any equipment apart from a bed or table.

The takeaway

Cervical traction may be a safe, reliable way to help you with your neck pain. It is likely to provide numerous advantages for your overall body, encouraging you to do it often. It will be an effective way of dealing with your neck pain and improving your general condition.

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