What is Traction and How Does it Help Neck Pain?
Neck problems are the cause of many ongoing symptoms from headaches to upper backache and pain in the shoulder region. It’s important that any symptoms are not ignored and are treated as soon as possible; this could be a one-off treatment and advice session, on-going management and self help techniques or occasionally surgery. Continual treatment from a therapist can be costly and very time consuming, requiring you to plan your life around your treatment. Here at necksaviour, we identified both of these factors as being annoying and impractical – physical pain is enough to deal with without the pain of trying to fix it in lengthy and costly ways!
We also understand that reducing reliance on medication is extremely important and as a result of our studies into the need of easy, pill free and affordable neck pain treatment, necksaviour was born. Necksaviour stretches the cervical area of the spine, a technique called ‘traction’.
What is Traction?
For those going through the experience of exasperating neck pain, upper back pain or tension headaches, traction of the neck, which is also known as cervical traction, is a commonly used therapy with many proven benefits. In traction, tension is used to gently pull the head and neck, which stretches both the muscles and ligaments around the vertebrae of the spine which consequently expands the space between the vertebrae. The aim of traction is to relax muscles, open facet joints and allow pressure on any pinched nerves to be relieved.
Who uses Traction?
Traction has a fantastic reputation of being an incredibly effective way of treating neck pain and as a result of having this status, therapists use cervical spine traction to treat a variety of neck pain causes. Stretching helps to relieve compression and neck muscle spasm by stretching apart the vertebrae of the spine. Traction can help to relieve the pain caused by worn spinal discs.
What Sort of Pain is Helped by Traction?
Neck pain and upper back pain can be caused by numerous factors and it’s important to find out the exact cause before treating it. If you’re experiencing pain from the middle or side of your neck or in the shoulder blade region, traction could well be beneficial to you. If you have problems in your neck, it can often be felt as pain, numbness or tingling in your arm or hand due to pressure on the nerve root in the neck. This is something to be aware of when having your condition diagnosed.
Traction can help to decrease compressive forces in the neck. It alleviates pressure from the discs and additionally opens the spaces around the vertebrae to relieve pressure from any compressed nerves. Similarly, traction can be used to alleviate pain felt in muscles and joint structures in the neck, which can be caused by:
- Herniated (bulging) discs in the neck
- Neck arthritis
- Neck strains
- Cervical muscle spasms
- Poor posture
- Leisure activities such as cycling
Is There More than One Type of Traction?
Yes, there are two main types of traction used to stretch out the cervical spine:
- Manual Traction: Manual traction is performed by a doctor or therapist whereby the patient lies on a table and the therapist uses their hands to physically pull the head and neck. Depending on the type of discomfort, the head can be also be turned side to side. This rhythmic pulling force is what helps to alleviate the pain.
- Mechanical Traction: This form of traction involves tension provided from mechanical means (like necksaviour!). The unit provides enough tension to gently stretch and pull the neck to relieve your body of neck, shoulder or upper back pain. This type of traction can be used intermittently for days, weeks, months or years depending on how well you respond to the treatment.
Can I Do Cervical Traction at Home?
Absolutely! Traction can easily be done at home with equipment such as necksaviour without the need for a doctor or therapist. That’s one of the biggest benefits of our ingenious little necksaviour device – It can be used practically anywhere. Neck pain can strike at any time and waiting to see someone for treatment can for some be detrimental which is why we believe that it’s so important to be able to carry your treatment around with you whenever possible.
We can’t stress just how important it is to ensure that your neck/back/head pains are diagnosed by a professional before embarking on a treatment course. Traction is an incredibly effective method of relieving musculoskeletal pain but it’s always advisable to see a professional to check if the condition could be more serious or if there are any underlying issues that cannot be treated by traction alone.
- Wesley Marshall