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Get the facts on Spinal Traction and how it can help you!


Get the facts on Spinal Traction and how it can help you!

How does Spinal Traction work?

Spinal decompression therapy is a type of physiotherapy that relieves spine pressure. It can be executed manually or mechanically

Spinal traction is used to heal herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, and many other back problems

What does spinal traction do?

Spinal traction extends the spine to alleviate pressure on compressed discs. This straightens the spine and improves the physique’s physical recovery capability.


Individuals with spinal injuries benefit from this treatment since traction negates the force of gravity.  It is most commonly used to treat:

  • slipped discs
  • bone spurs
  • degenerative disc disease
  • herniated discs
  • facet disease
  • sciatica
  • foramina stenosis
  • pinched nerves

Spinal traction: What are the side effects?

Spinal traction may cause both pain and the extent of the injury to increase in some cases. People with bone cancer and age-related osteoporosis should not receive spinal traction. Spinal traction can increase muscle tension. Physicians typically expect to see this occurring during and after treatment.

How is spinal traction administered?

Spinal traction therapy may be administered manually or in an automated manner, depending on your individual needs.

  • Manual spinal traction

The physical therapist utilizes their hands to put an individual in a state of traction, then press on the joints and muscles to widen the spaces between the vertebrae to facilitate the process of manually applying traction.

  • Mechanical spinal traction

Mechanical spinal traction enables you to relax while you lie on a table that has special tools. A physical therapist will apply a series of ropes, slings, and pulleys to your body in order to relieve pressure.

What are the benefits of spinal traction?

Spinal traction has no long-term side effects. Some side effects may occur during or after the course of treatment. Some people experience muscle spasms after spinal traction. Some people experience pain in the treated areas. Spinal traction is not appropriate for all. A physician can assess the danger versus the potential benefits based on your medical history.

How can you prepare for spinal traction?

Before undergoing spinal traction, you need to speak about your action plan with your doctor. Spinal traction is often used in addition to other treatments to enhance their effectiveness A physician may suggest at-home exercises as an alternative to spinal traction. Usually, this is not necessary. 

What are the results of spinal traction?

Spinal traction can alleviate your pain, align your spine, and relieve your joints. You can get relief from spinal traction under specific conditions, which can dramatically improve the way you feel on a daily basis.

What is the outlook after spinal traction?

Spinal traction is a method for using other physical therapies to heal a wide range of problems. Treatment reduces pain and makes the body more capable of healing itself. Some people just require spinal traction therapy for a brief length of time; others need it their entire life.

What Is Traction?

In the medical field, traction refers to the practice of slowly and gently pulling on a fractured or dislocated body part. It often requires the use of ropes, pulleys, and weights. These tools help apply force to the tissues surrounding the damaged area.

The purpose of traction is to guide the body part back into its proper place and hold it there. Traction may be used to:

  • stabilize and realign bone fractures, such as a broken arm or leg
  • help reduce the pain of a fracture before surgery
  • treat bone deformities caused by certain conditions, such as scoliosis
  • correct stiff and constricted muscles, joints, tendons, or skin
  • stretch the neck and prevent painful muscle spasms

What Are the Different Types of Traction?

Two categories include skeletal traction and skin traction. The type of traction used will depend on the area and the nature of the condition.

Skeletal Traction

In treating a broken bone, putting a pin, wire, or screw into it can often assist with skeletal traction. After one of these devices is inserted, you’ll be able to make use of additional weights to pull your bone back into its proper position. This surgery is commonly done under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia to help you avoid feeling pain or distress during the procedure.

The amount of time required for performing skeletal traction depends on whether it’s the preparation for a more definitive procedure or the only operation that’s required for healing the bone. Skeletal traction is commonly used to treat broken bones in the femur, or thighbone. It may also be used when applied with a greater force to the affected area. The force is put directly on the leg, rendering much less injury to soft tissues.

Skin Traction

Skin traction is less invasive than skeletal traction. It involves applying splints, bandages, or adhesive tapes to the skin directly below the fracture. Once the material has been applied, weights are applied. The affected body part is then pulled into the correct position using a pulley system attached to an adjustable hospital bed.

Soft tissues, such as those of the muscles and the tendons, are often restored through skin traction. Less force is applied during skin traction in order to prevent irritating or damaging the skin and other tissues. Skin traction is rarely just a treatment; instead, it’s usually used as a means of short-term stabilization of a broken bone until reconstruction surgery is conducted.

Cervical Traction

During cervical traction, a metal brace is placed around your neck. It is then attached to a body harness or weights, which are used to help correct the affected area. Cervical traction is performed using an anesthetic, so you will be asleep throughout the entire procedure.

Cervical traction may be used for different purposes. It can be used to encourage the recovery of muscle tissue that could be strained or frozen. It may also be pressed into to help immobilize the spine after an injury.

What Happens After Traction?

After you undergo traction treatment, you may also need to take part in inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. These programs often contain physical and mental exercise so that you can regain your strength and relearn abilities you may have avoided because of your injury. A therapist can help you learn new ways of addressing pain, weakness, or paralysis you may have been afflicted with because of being injured.

The first days after traction oftentimes prove difficult. Your muscles are generally weaker as you must be in bed for a number of hours after undergoing traction. Being physically active can be difficult and may make you feel tired, but it is essential that you stick to any rehabilitation program to be able to make a full recovery.

What Are the Risks of Traction?

There are risks involved in all surgical procedures. These risks include:

  • an adverse reaction to the anesthesia
  • excessive bleeding
  • an infection of the pin site
  • damage to the surrounding tissue
  • nerve injury or vascular injury from too much weight being applied

It’s important to contact your doctor if:

  • the prescribed medications aren’t relieving your pain
  • the skin around the pin site becomes red, hot, or swollen
  • there’s drainage

Is Traction an Effective Treatment?

Traction used to be thought of as a state-of-the-art therapy. In recent years, however, other procedures have proved more effective and more advanced for treating injuries, damaged muscles, and spinal conditions. Traction does not offer much movement after surgery, so the recovery time is long. Today, used primarily as a temporary measure until the definitive procedure is finished. Traction saved many lives during World War II by transporting soldiers safely without injury to the surrounding tissues.

Traction can be very effective in dealing with several health conditions. It can help you relieve persistent pain in the early stages of rehabilitation following an injury. Your physician and yourself can review whether traction is a good idea for your condition.

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