About Neck Traction For Home Use
Neck traction can be an important method to use in attempts to alleviate issues related to discomfort from stiff muscles, pressure from pinched nerves and herniated or bulging discs. There are many devices that are easy to use and safe when applied with care in using neck traction for home use.
What Is Neck Traction?
Mainly used for chronic pain affecting structures in the neck like muscles, joints, ligaments and discs, neck traction consists of forces applied to the cervical spine which produces a neck stretcher effect. This stretching separates compressed joints in attempts to relieve pressure on discs, nerves, blood vessels and muscles. It is also used for serious injuries and may include sophisticated machines to help in the treatment of fractures and dislocations.
There are many great products that are specifically designed with neck traction for home use. Active traction devices mainly use air pressure to achieve a pulling for that is under your control. This means the force is applied in a manner which makes you comfortable, as everyone is different and will respond to different levels and types of traction. With the advent of new devices, neck traction can be applied without heavy weights, water bags, pulleys connected to doors and straps that pull directly under the chin, which can be aggravating those who suffer from jaw pain or dental issues.
Why Neck Traction For Home Use?
If you have been suffering from painful neck conditions, there are many reasons to use neck traction at home. By helping to provide motion to the neck that cannot be achieved by other means, it offers relief by means of relaxing muscles which have become stiff or go into spasm as a reaction to poor posture, tension, chronic disc problems or pinched nerves. The increase in blood circulation can help oxygenate muscles which have become contracted. This can be very beneficial to chronic injuries such as whiplash or strain of neck muscles.
As a result of arthritis or degenerative conditions, disc spaces become reduced, joints rub together and sensitive nerves become irritated. Neck traction can help to remove the pressure from these pain producing structures that become compressed. The process of using traction to remove this pressure is called spinal decompression and can have a positive effect on herniated, bulging or protruding disc problems.
Neck traction dfor home use devices are also designed to help with a loss of the normal curve in the neck, often related to forward head posture or conditions such as a reversal of the curve or straightening of the curve, often called a straight spine, military neck or hypolordosis.
Is Neck Traction Painful?
The idea of neck traction for home use is to stretch the spine to extend benefits of office visits and can reduce costs for therapy. These devices have often been called “neck stretchers”. Like any type of stretch, too much can produce pain. Older type devices would use chin straps to provide the pulling force which can produce jaw pain and aggravate dental conditions. Some use weights or heavy water bags which are difficult to adjust and pose a risk of injury should the device fail.
Fortunately, there have been cervical traction devices designed for home use that are much safer, easier to use and provide more freedom of motion as well as adjustability and comfort. With these new devices, it is easy to control the force, therefore, traction should be done to tolerance and never be painful. To tolerance means that you apply the traction until you feel pain relief, not more. If apply too much, quick release valves allow you to reduce it quickly.
Some will need small amounts of force to achieve relief and some will require more in order to achieve the right amount which provides relief and is not painful; therefore, having a device with a wide range of options for sizing and amount of force like the is a great way to start.
Which Are The Best Neck Traction For Home Use Devices?
Some inflatable units employ a collar type application made of comfortable materials along with individual control. These are mainly used sitting or standing, but can be used lying down with a small pillow under the head. These may require a significant amount of pumping with the less expensive models, and is something to consider should you have hand arthritis or similar difficulties. While some use velcro for easy use, some may require buckling in the back, which may aggravate shoulder problems.
A home neck traction device like the posture pump produces forces to target the discs, providing nutrition and can rehabilitate the curve in the neck with only 8 pounds of force. Since it provides traction in 2 directions, it takes less force to affect the discs. This is used lying down and has the option of a chin strap, although it does not have to be used. This type of traction is best for mild to moderate conditions and require pumping of the disc.
There are also higher end neck traction models which have pressure gauges that show exactly much pressure is being applied. This can help when a doctor has prescribed a certain level of traction force. Other types for home use employ a comfortable cushion that is contoured to produce passive traction using the contours in combination with gravity and the weight of the head. The design promotes muscle relaxation and assists in restoration of the normal curve of the neck and to reverse forward head posture. They are used lying down and many consider them pillows.
A device like the necksavior uses a mild traction that does not require any pumps or electrical cords. It is a popular device that uses counter-pressure to stretch the neck at the low end of medical traction force. It applies correct linear force and is very lightweight. You do have to bend the unit, place under your neck, then release. This can be harder at first, but you can use your knees or thighs to help, and eventually it becomes easy as it breaks in.
So, devices that provide neck traction for home use are variable and depend on affordability and your particular condition as well as preference.
How Do I Apply Neck Traction For Home Use
In general, neck traction should only be used to tolerance with no pain. Effects may be beneficial with small amounts of traction, even with no significant pain relief – as long as the pain does not increase. If your condition is acute or recent, make sure there is no inflammation. Recent traumas such as whiplash or sprain and strain type injuries should be given some time to heal before using traction.
You should treat traction applications with care, go easy and for short periods at first, becoming familiar with how it works and how you respond. To tolerance not only applies to amount of force, but to time of application. Start with a few minutes and gradually progress with longer periods as you become accustomed to it. In general, for higher levels of traction, the treatment time should be shorter. Lower levels can be applied for longer periods. Again, everyone will react differently to different levels, therefore, allow an adjustment period to get familiar with levels of force, adjustments to fitting, angles, sitting and lying down. You may find more relief with more or less force applied to one side, bending your head slightly forward or you can apply moist heat prior to traction to help relax the muscles.
Rehabilitation With Neck Traction For Home Use
Lets take an example of a muscle injury. A muscle strain is a tear of the muscle; there is bleeding, swelling, pain and restricted motion. Just like a cut on your finger, this needs time to heal. A scab will form, resolve and a scar will be left. This takes some weeks, depending on the extent of injury – a deep cut or a more superficial cut. The time to apply traction would be when the scar has formed.
Properly applied tractioning can help prevent poorly formed scar tissue which can interfere with proper muscle function and can form painful adhesions which can trap sensitive nerves. In this manner, traction can be used to stretch the muscle, helping to properly align the scar tissue along the lines of the muscle fibers. A properly formed scar will prevent chances of future injuries by making the muscle stronger and allow the muscle to heal in a healthy manner with proper form and function. This is just one example of how traction can be used to rehabilitate a neck muscle injury. Similarly, it can be applied for joint and disc injuries.
When Should Traction Be Avoided
If prescribed by your health care provider, you should follow all instructions. If you are not sure about how to use it at home or if you should use it at all, consult your doctor. Stay away from recent neck injuries, allowing time to heal with any medications, heat and ice applications for reducing inflammation. Never apply home traction for any type of malignant condition as well as for broken/fractured bones or following surgical procedures or any type of spinal cord damage.
It should not be used for cases of rheumatoid arthritis that has become unstable. Traction should be avoided with any blood clotting disorders, high blood pressure conditions, with dental issues as well as problems with the tmj (jaw joint). If you do not feel comfortable with something that fits snug around your neck, do not use active traction, rather go with the passive forms like the cushions you just lay on. Traction does not squeeze the neck, it provides a force to elongate the neck, however, there are some individuals who just do not feel comfortable with something around the neck.
There are neck traction for home use products to fit every budget and ones you can use siting, standing or lying down. Traction may or may not provide you with the relief you are seeking. There are no guarantees. If you are not sure about a pre-existing condition, don’t purchase – ask your doctor first.