Neck Traction Can Be An Effective Therapy For Neck Problems
Relief Of Pain With Neck TractionNeck traction can help with relief of pain, decrease pressure on nerves and ease muscle spasms. The newest neck traction devices can help increase blood circulation to the structures of the cervical spine, helping to oxygenate muscles, nerves, tendons as well as ligaments and this can increase energy, decrease pain while promoting relaxing via relief of constricting nerve and blood vessels, thus reducing pressure and tension. Increased muscle tension relates to constriction of blood vessels and nerves causing a release of inflammatory chemicals which create further irritation, tension and pain.
Easily used at home, neck traction devices work to relieve stressful tension due to anxiety and trauma, impeding proper blood circulation and nerve function. As sensitive nerves and blood vessels become constricted by a pinching or squeezing effect, symptoms like neck pain, shoulder pain, tingling or numbness into the arm(s) or hand(s), and even headaches can result. Relieving this pressure may assist in alleviation of herniated discs and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis or facet syndrome of the joints.
These new home based neck traction devices are lightweight, easy to travel with and effective for neck pain relief.
For many years neck traction devices have been used to obtain relief by removing nerve pressure and relaxing the tight muscles and improving the circulation. Until recently, many have been cumbersome and difficult to use at home. Many devices employ a weighted system attached to the head and placing pressure on the jaw.
They may utilize a harness that attaches with weights and allowed to place significant weight by hanging over the edge of a table or use a pulley system connected to a door with strings and a water bag. This may place harmful stress about the jaw, aggravating tmj pain and may appear intimidating, instead of being a relaxing experience as well as being able to apply with ease and comfort. I have not had much luck getting patients to comply with these type of neck traction devices and I guess I don’t blame them. It’s just a bit scary for the average person.
Technological advances with newer methods and neck traction devices for home use are now easier to use, more comfortable, safer and more effective. They range from general use by lifting the weight of the head off the neck while sitting, to more specific and effective methods used while lying on the back which can help to restore the natural neck posture.
Newer designing makes it easier to stretch and increase the length of muscles, while separating cervical joints, and this may induce effective relief related to discomfort and inflammation associated with many neck issues. Mild traction may exercise neck muscles improving blood circulation, where stronger traction forces decreases constriction of joints, taking pressure from pinched nerves and disc herniations. The air neck traction provides the most force and has the greatest variability in sizing with a comfortable and easy to use design.
The home neck traction is the most effective means to restore correct posture because it uses extension during therapy. It is important to know if there are any problems with extending your neck or tilting it back. Please review neck stretches to show how to test for extension. If this causes any dizziness or increase in pain then extension devices may not be the right ones for you. If there are no problems with extension or if it feels good, then either of these neck traction devices along with the neck exercises would be useful to aid in the restoration of the normal neck curve and posture.
Restoring the proper curve is an important part of helping neck pain. The loss of the normal curve leaves you 4 times more vulnerable to pain. Loss of this curve is promoted by poor neck posture and according to a November article is Spine Journal, 33(23) 2008, loss of the neck curve can accelerate disc degeneration. The article further states that restoring the normal curve should be considered to prevent degeneration and deterioration of symptoms. This is the goal for neck traction combined with extension in the 2 traction products noted above.
Using Home Neck Traction
You may feel some discomfort initially, but that would not be uncommon. With continued and regular use along with the exercises illustrated at neck exercises you can probably have noticeable correction of the curve within approximately six months. Depending on your specific condition, it may take up to a year and in some cases complete correction is not possible. You do not always need to have complete correction for relief however. You can see at neck arthritis from the left side menu that correction of neck problems usually depends on the condition of your neck. Make sure you have a sleeping pillow with good support so that you are not losing any gains you have made while you sleep and be very sure not to watch TV in bed unless you head is in the proper upright position by using a wedge pillow.
The collar type units are similar in function and use, however, there are differences between the models, so we compare the air neck traction models to help find individual solutions.
Neck Traction For Cervical Spine Rehabilitation
Cervical traction is often employed to bring relief from compressed nerves and stiff muscles, however, it can also be used in rehabilitation from chronic conditions and injuries. With the new collar type traction devices, it is easy to perform exercises while using traction. The units can be inflated and resistance exercises can be performed to help increase strength of the neck muscles, which is a goal for rehabilitation. In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, individuals with neck pain and radiculopathy were treated with exercises using traction. They found the addition of traction to exercises for individuals suffering cervical radiculopathy displayed lower levels of both pain as well as disability. This relief of neck and arm pain was maintained at long term follow up evaluations.
Neck traction devices should not be employed involving: malignancy, broken bones or fractures, after surgery, significant rheumatoid arthritic conditions, significant inflammation, injuries to the spinal cord, dental or tmj conditions or disorders involving blood clotting.