Back Traction Devices For Relief Of Lumbar Spine Pain & Sciatica
The back traction devices available today allow the use of spinal decompression in different forms to suit your personal needs in relief of pain, restoration of biomechanics, and improved spinal health. From belts to benches; there is something to fit your lifestyle, activity level, physical demands, goals, and recommendations from your health care professional.
There are back traction devices on the market that allow the function of traction to be performed on a bed. The lumbar traction belt can be delivered either in a standing or a prone position, and it uses a friction free surface that is actively moving, which provides the ultimate in flexibility and comfort. By having the ability to perform the traction on a bed it means that a person who is suffering from back pain does not have to bend down to the floor before and after the treatment.
The Traction Bench in the video above is a very popular back traction device that is easy to use and designed by a doctor. Mainly for decompression of the lumbar spine, however, some are adjusting position and using traction for the thoracic spine as well to help reduce the effects of spinal degeneration. Great for targeting the symptoms of sciatica, where a pinched nerve causes pain down the leg.
Benefits Of Back Traction Devices
Our spine is under pressure on a constant basis, and the only way that pressure can be released is to stretch the spine vertically or eliptically. A side to side stretching will give the impression of pressure being released, but in fact there is no pressure released that way.
The advantages of using devices such as these are many, but some of them are:
- The body is maintained in correct alignment, as the shoulders and hips are aligned perfectly
- The devices provide maintenance for the spine and back, and helps prevent the re-occurrence problems
- Preventative care is enhanced when used on a regular basis and as an exercise program
- There are no ongoing costs as there is a one-time fee
- The devices are designed to be compact and can be stored easily
- The devices are very convenient, as it can be done in the comfort of your own home, whenever needed
- You are in complete control because you regulate the duration of the stretch, which can be quickly released
Back traction devices work on the simple principle of leverage, which means that the vertebral body segments are separated, while being held tight at either end of the back or spinal segments. Then a stretch is created when decompressive forces are applied. This alleviates pressure on discs and joints, while increasing blood flow and nutrients. Immediate relief is the goal for some, while long term rehabilitation and maintenance as part of a comprehensive program is the more common application.
The Home Back Traction Device is based on a pivotal elliptical motion and is very beneficial for the health of the lumbar spine. It is different than the vertical or straight upward and downward pulling and is very rehabilitative. It uses the least traction force because the application is directed right into the vertebral motion unit or the area of the discs. The motion used get you active in your rehab and is a great device for those not in extreme or acute pain.
One of the more interesting back traction devices is the traction belt. Combining the benefits of a back belt with traction means you can keep active during application and you are not stuck lying on the floor. It can help with daily activities and keep you working.
Based on the principle of inflation, the Traction Belt features a vertical air cell expansion mechanism which pushes upwards and downwards, thus decreasing the loading on the spinal cord. When the belt is inflated, it expands vertically by about 2.8 inches. As a result of this elongation, the disc space will increase, thus relieving the nerve and alleviating the back pain.
The Traction Belt is very easy to use. It resembles very much to a blood pressure monitor, the only difference being that the air pump is manual, in order to secure a good degree of control over the air pressure inside the belt.
As you wear the belt, you can apply further adjustments by either releasing some air pressure or by inflating it a bit more, until you feel comfortable and pain free. If it is too loose, it won’t have the desired effect of removing the pain. If it is too tight, you’ll feel uncomfortable. As this is a subjective sensation, it is important that you do the adjustments yourself until you feel comfortable.
For best results, wear the belt for 4-6 hours a day. If you only use it as a prevention measure, wear it whenever you have to do heavy weight lifting or long hours of driving.
An Inversion Therapy Table is one of the most popular back traction devices and there are many models to choose from, however, you really don’t need all the bells and whistles that raise the price and provide questionable benefits. A basic table will provide all the function and benefits you need at a reasonable price.
For traction, you can use it for static (held) and/or intermittent (rock back and forth) traction. For general back problems, you do not need to hang completely upside down. This can cause problems with those who have cardiovascular issues, ankle and knee problems.
Hanging upside down all the way is good for those without complications and can help strengthen your core muscles with certain exercises. The basic method is to go back to a point where the pain is relieved or lessened. Once you find this “sweet spot”, you can remain there or rock back and forth to that point. The motion is done with the arms and there is a bit of a learning curve.
The worse the condition, like disc degeneration or arthritis, the better results will be obtained with static or a held position, as opposed to rocking back and forth. Care should be taken not to overdo it, and when getting off the table.
Consult your health care professional for the best type of back traction devices for your condition, goals, and lifestyle.
A 2019 BMC study indicated that back traction produces a distraction force in the lumbar spine, and that patients experiencing this force application show an immediate response following traction.