Cervical Traction is a process in which pressure is slowly applied in a pulling direction on the cervical vertabrae of the neck. By relieving the stress between your vertabrae, traction therapy helps to relieve neck and back pain as well as increase motion and flexibility. Although there are home traction devices and kits, it is important to consult a medical professional, physical therapist or chiropractor about traction therapy prior to beginning.
There are a variety of traction devices on the market these days, many of which are designed for a professional setting while there a few that are designed for in home use.
Traction Collars are padded neck braces that gently expand to relieve unnecessary pressure from the vertabrae in the neck. Usually this expansion is caused and controlled by a manual pump so that you have ultimate control as to the pressure applied and to minimize accidental injuries. Saunders has a tremendous line of home traction devices that feature comfort and ease of use!
Overdoor Traction devices rely principally on a pulley system to apply the pulling sensation to the spinal column. A weighted bag, usually filled with water, or weights are attached to the weight bearing end of the pulley which gently pulls your cranium upward, relieving pain and pressure from your neck.
Products like the TX ADP400 Traction Accessory Kit and the TTFT-200 Traction Accessory Package are designed for clinical use by a licensed physical or occupational therapist to ensure proper use and prevent injury.
While Cervical Traction has become increasingly popular, there are still other, more common methods or practices to reduce neck pain. For example, Orthopedic Pillows do an incredible job relieving minor aches and pains in a variety of locations throughout the body, but especially the neck. By using a more contoured pillow that supports your head and neck more soundly, you can easily (and cheaply!) reduce the amount of fatigue and soreness you feel in the morning and throughout the day!
Hot and Cold Therapy is also a tried and true method to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain not only in the neck, but throughout the body in general. Applying heat to sore muscles or joints, causes blood vessels to dilate and travel more easily throughout the veins and arteries. This, in turn, increases circulation and oxygenation in the cells and assists in the removal of toxins. Using cold, on the other hand, causes the cells to metabolize slower and reduces nerve center reaction time, thus reducing pain and inflammation in the targeted areas.
Sometimes if the pain gets to be too much in general, Pain Relief Devices or pain management products can be used to relieve pain in specific areas. The Laser Touch One is an FDA approved cold laser device which uses low level lasers to stimulate nerve receptors and reduce pain.
Traction Tables work to increase the efficiency of traction therapy and help to relieve stress in both the neck and back vertabraes. These tables can typically be found in physical therapist's, occupational therapist's, or chiropractor's clinic and are not commonly used in home due to the aggressive nature of the therapy.