Neck Pain | Disc Herniation | Bulging Disk | Military Neck
How a neck stretcher and other cervical supports can help your neck pain and stiff neck
What is Traction?
Traction involves the application of a continuous force that elongates or stretches spine. This pulling force is used for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. It may be applied to the arms, legs, neck, back or pelvis for treatment of fractures, dislocations, muscle spasms and other muscular disorders. Traction uses weights, counterweights and pulleys to provide a force that gradually stretches the spine to a normal position. Before doing traction, it is important to consult a doctor because certain factors such as age, weight and medical history make a difference.
Why Should I do Neck Traction? What is the Purpose of it?
Mainly for pain relief, neck traction has many purposes. It helps to mobilize the soft tissues and joints in the cervical spine, provides decompressive forces on a pinched nerve root and helps to reduce herniations in the disc. Traction is also an extremely effective means of realigning a cervical spinal dislocation and providing stabilization for these types of cervical spine injury. Low weight cervical spinal traction may be beneficial in the early treatment of cervical radiculopathy caused by a disc herniation or a disc bulge. Finally, if you suffer from a lot of neck pain, have bad neck posture (such as forward head posture), or have been diagnosed with having a reversal of the cervical lordosis (aka military neck), doing a home traction protocol can be beneficial and effective to get the curve back in your neck.
Is Using A Traction Device Painful?
Traction devices or neck stretches have been around for centuries. There are many different set ups for neck traction, and some are more comfortable than others. It used to be that you could only find Over the Door Neck traction units.In this system, one hangs the weight over a door and the patient is seated in a chair. For someone who has a sensitive jaw, or jaw pain this may not be the best option. For somebody looking at this traction device in use for the first time, they might be scared off from doing neck traction at home. Over the years, many companies have out with comfortable traction products such as the Neck Traction Collar (aka Trac-Collar). Even more comfortable and effective are pneumatic traction units such as the Pronex Pneumatic Cervical Traction unit (gold standard in Doctors offices) and the Posture Pump 1000. With this type of neck traction, the patient can lie down comfortably and control the amount of traction with a pump system, thus providing an even painless neck stretch with more weight as well.
What Studies have been done using traction?
Many scientific studies have shown the benefit of using traction for natural pain relief.
Home Cervical Traction Units
Being able to treat you neck pain at home can make the healing process faster. Home Cervical Traction is a non invasive way that can give you long term pain relief. Home traction stretch the soft tissues of the neck and to separate the spinal joint structures in order to relieve neck pain. Constant traction results in tiring of the muscles, allowing the strain to rest on the joints. Traction results in a widening of the joint spaces, promoting pain relief because pressure is taken of the cervical nerves. There are few different types of traction that are available including a free weight and pulley system or a mechanical motorized device, often involving a head or chin sling to allow pull in a cephalad upward direction. Mechanical motorized devices are easily applied but require patient attendance and, therefore, are most often used in an outpatient clinic setting. These include the cervical posture pump 1000 and the Pronex pneumatic traction unit. You can acheive 20-50 pounds of pressure (PSI). Cervical traction may be used in a home setting as an alternative to or in addition to outpatient rehabilitation.
Doing Traction at Home
Doing traction directly in your own home can help a patient to heal comfortably and continually. Proper instructions must always be followed when doing traction at home because this is a medical device. It should be applied in the position of maximal pain relief and should not result in discomfort or more pain. There are different home traction devices availabe today including traditional over-the-door devices (applied in a sitting position) and more advanced technologies (applied in a lying down position), such as the Cervical Posture Pump 1000 and PronexPneumatic Traction Unit. With the traditional over-the-door traction device, one can get up to 20 pounds of pressure or less of traction. One must be careful with overhead traction is that it can put a lot of pressure on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and cause irritation and pain. It is important to do the traction for a specified amount of time and fit the head gear properly. The head halter fits under the chin. As force is transmitted through the chin strap to the teeth, the TMJ becomes a weight-bearing structure, which may potentially cause the joint to deteriorate.
Devices that are used in the home can allow greater traction force such as the Pronex Pneumatic cervical traction device. The Pronex is a patient-controlled, pneumatic traction device that is used in a supine (lying on your back) position. The neck traction device cradles a reclining patient's head and neck between two soft foam cushions. The Pronex Cervical Traction Unit maintains the normal cervical lordosis, resulting in uniform traction posteriorly and anteriorly across the vertebral disc, in comparison to other devices, which occlude the anterior disc space for temporary relief posteriorly. This neck stretcher can be used to deliver a traction force that avoids TMJ force and allows patients control of their own comfort level. Furthermore, with this traction unit, you can easily induce a small amount of flexion (bringing your chin to the chest) for a greater pain relief. Finally, the Pronex comes in three different sizes allowing the patient to have the best fit possible. To learn more about the Pronex traction unit on Arc 4 Life.
Treatment Protocol For Traction
Treatment plans will vary for home traction depending on your particular neck pain condition. For an acute pain episode treatment is usually short-term (less than eight weeks in duration) with treatments 2-3 times per week. Once this eight week time line has passed patients do one of two things:
Arc4life's Cervical Neck Traction Products
Other Pain Relief Products & Cervical Supports There are many cervical support cushions that one can use during the day for stretching of the neck and gentle traction. At Arc4life.com we offer the Soothe-A-Ciser neck support cushion. Patients can also use supportive products at night such as the cervical traction neck pillow - which provides gentle traction to the cervical spine while sleeping. Our neck pillows support your head and neck in their most natural, neutral position. A proper sleeping posture can give you relief from and help prevent nerve pressure and airway blockage (usually a major cause of snoring), and assist in recovery from whiplash (usually from a motor vehicle accident), and other neck injuries. These neck pillows are so comfortable, you may never sleep on a regular neck pillow again.
If you have any questions about what product is right for you, please email us at info@ arc4life.com or call us Toll Free at 1-866-810-2174.
Also read this article: Which Neck Pillow is Right for Me?.
Use the Traction Side of this pillow to Get Gentle Traction While you Sleep
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