There are a couple of different kinds of neck traction. The first is Linear Traction. This is as if someone pulls your head away from your body while you lying supine or sitting up. This could be done with an over the door neck traction device or something called the trac collar.
The other neck traction is called "true neck traction".With this neck traction you are stretching the neck but we are also working the "True" c curve into the neck.
How does stretching or tractioning the neck linearly help?
To understand the answer completely we need to cover a little neck anatomy and understand the neck.
Lets start with our bodies control center - our nervous system. This includes the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and our peripheral nervouse system (all of the additional nerves). Our brain sends information down the spinal cord and out the nerve roots (bundle of nerves) to nerves, to various parts of the body. The nerves roots exit between holes between the spinal vertebrae or vertebral foramen.
Stretching the neck straight apart from the body opens up the foramen. These openings are on each side of the spine. So for example, a pinched nerve on the right side at c5/c6 (describes the foramen between the bones C5 and C6), may cause tingling into the right arm. Similarly, pressure or impingement on the left side will oftn result in left sided symptoms.
Taking the pressure off of the nerves and and opening up the spine allows inflammation to dissapate and pressure to come off nerves. This kind of traction may work extremely well when the neck pain is acute (initial symptoms).
True neck traction tends to work better once acute symptoms have dissipated. Once the initial symptoms dissipate this kind of neck traction not only opens up the foramen but also improves spinal alignment as well. Correcting the neck C Curve will help keep the foramen patent or open.
If you suspect a loss of neck curvature using the posture pump 1000 can improve your curve and keep pain away.
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