Getting the Right Traction for Neck Pain Relief
If you have ever suffered from a pinched nerve in the neck, your Doctor may have suggested neck traction as a form of treatment. The traction unit itself can look scary and daunting, but the pain relief that it provides can be very effective and long lasting. Lets discusses the various forms of neck traction that are available today. What is neck traction? what it is used for? and how other treatments are used in conjunction with it. There are many units out there for stretching your neck, and we examines a few of the neck traction models out on the market today.
Why use a neck stretcher for Pain Relief in the first place?
Cervical traction has been applied widely for pain relief of neck muscle spasms or nerve root compression. Traction occurs when a force is applied to a part of the body to decrease paraspinal muscle spasms by stretching soft tissues. Traction is also used to separate facet joint surfaces or bony structures. Studies have shown that traction must be constant so that the muscles may fatigue and the strain falls on the joints. It generally takes 2 minutes of sustained traction before the intervertebral spaces begin to widen. Forces between 20 and 50 pounds are commonly used to achieve intervertebral separation.
What the Indications for Cervical Neck Traction?
- chronic neck pain
- disc herniation
- disc bulge
- muscle Spasm in the Neck
- tightness in the Neck
- Arthritis in the Neck
- neck Stiffness
- numbness and tingling in the arms and hands
- shooting pains into the upper extremity
- pinched nerve in the neck
- for stretching the neck
- for plugged ears
- upper back pain
- jaw pain
- fibromyalgia (gentle traction)
In Scientific Terms...Not Speaking Layman's English HERE !
In 2002 an article was written that showed that there are a lot of positive outcomes when it comes to treating cervical radiculopathies with traction. These conservative approaches to management of a radiculopathy have a lot benefit. Traction is particularly useful in conditions that involve compression of the nerve root.
How Is Traction Useful and Beneficial?
- enlarging intervertebral foramina
- separating apophyseal joints
- stretching muscles and ligaments
- tightening the posterior longitudinal ligament to exert a centripetal force on the adjacent annulus fibrosis
- enlarging the intervertebral space
- diminishing disc protrusion
- reducing cervical disc space pressure
- separating intervertebral joints
- stretching a tight or painful capsule
- releasing entrapped synovial membrane
- freeing adherent nerve roots
- producing central vacuum to reduce herniated disc
- producing posterior longitudinal ligament tension to reduce herniated disc
- relaxing muscle spasms
Source: Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2002 Aug;13(3):589-608, vii.
Cervical radiculopathies: The conservative approaches to management.
Lets Look Closer at the Different Traction Units: