Neck Traction has been used for a long time to help relieve neck pain. You may have been prescribed traction by your doctor to do at physical therapy, you might get it at your chiropractic office, yu may even do it at home with a device you can travel with.
Whatever the case is, It Works!
Let's first take a look at our spinal anatomy to fully understand the process. As you can see in the picture, spinal vertebrae stack on top of one another. The neck has 7 cervical vertebrae. From the brain, comes our spinal cord, which travels through that neck spinae all the way to the low back. Off of the spinal cord at every vertebral level comes nerve roots. They leave the spine through holes on the side of the vertebrae called neural foramen.
This is a key point with traction. Often the nerves are compressed here. If we have a slight spinal misalignment, disc irritation, inflammed muscle or arthritic process that has taken place we then have a good chance of nerve pressure and then pain.
Let's say the neck gets knocked out of whack, do you think that hole wil be nice and round and big. Probably not! The we have a greater chance of pressure. What about a bulging disc; it tends to be posterolateral (to the back and side where the foramen are), now that clogs up the whole. How about inflammation - that fills up in the space too. Now a bone spur (arthritis); we have less space again. Now imagine a couple of these issues, maybe all four; You may have pain and pressure all the time.
So How Will Traction Help?
Tractioning the neck helps to open up the spaces where the nerves come out. This frees the nerves from pressure and allows inflammation to dissipate.
Now try taction that is more than just a linear stretch. Let's put the neck curve back too. Restoring that C-curve in the neck will relax the spinal cord and add to the spine staying in alignment. This will also stretch the appropriate muscles and ligaments allowing them to hold spinal alignment as well.
Additional Reading Resources:
- What Can I do For My Constant Neck Pain?
- Choose the Best Neck Pillow for Your Needs
- How to Use the Traction Pillow along with a tractin protocol
- All in One Neck Stretch that Works for tight muscles
- How to Choose a neck traction device for neck pain relief