If you are suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, your health care provider may recommend physical therapy for treating the condition. After a thorough evaluation by the physical therapist, a treatment program may be implemented to address your problem. In most likelihood, part of this therapy will involve the use of a cervical traction. For this types of disorders, the use of traction have been shown to be very effective and generally safe to the patient.
What is a cervical traction?
A cervical traction is a device or method that is used to relive pain and promote healing of the neck or back injury. This is achieved by stretching the spine in order to provide space between the bones of the spine located in the neck so as to relieve pressure. Pain may be experienced when pressure is exerted on the nerve roots, the intervertebral disc when injured, and the spinal joints within theneck. The medical conditions usually addressed by a cervical traction include neck strains, neckarthritis, herniated or bulging discs in the neck, and cervical muscle spasms.
How does a cervical traction work?
This device works in a number of ways by addressing the different causes of the neck and back pain. This is used to reduce the compressive forces in the neck, which in turn eases off the pressure on the discs found between the vertebrae. A cervical traction also opens up the spaces where nerves are found, allowing a reduction of pressure caused by a compressed nerve. In addition, a cervical tractionmay help in stretching the muscles and joints around the neck thereby providing relief from painand discomfort.
How is cervical traction applied?
Cervical traction may be applied by a therapist either manually or with the use of a device. Manualtraction is performed by a physiotherapist by holding the neck and head and gently exerting force to pull the neck, basically providing traction. This manual process is usually done in a rhythmic manner while holding the position for as long as 10 seconds.
Mechanical cervical traction on the other hand, uses a device, much like a harness, which is attached to the head and neck while the patient is lying down. The device is then attached to a machine that provides the traction. The force exerted will be controlled by the therapist, depending on the requirement of the patient’s condition.
This method may be applied in the homes even without a machine. All that is required is the harness which may be attached to a pulley system that uses a sand bag or water bag to provide traction force. However, for home remedies, coordination with the therapist is very vital. This is intended to monitor progress and to ensure that the proper technique is being followed.