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What is a Neck Traction Device?
Are Neck Traction devices safe?
Cervical traction is generally considered safe, but it's important to note that individual outcomes may vary. It is crucial that the treatment is completely pain-free.
It is possible to experience certain side effects, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea, when adjusting your body during the procedure. In some cases, these side effects may even result in fainting. If you encounter any of these symptoms, it is recommended to cease the traction immediately and consult with your doctor or physical therapist to discuss these effects.
Benefits of Neck Traction
Neck traction is a therapeutic technique employed in physical therapy settings, emergency rooms, and occasionally at home. It is a non-invasive approach used to stabilize fractures or dislocations in the neck and spine. Neck traction is also beneficial for addressing the following conditions:
- Pinched nerves
- Cervical disc disease
- Misalignment of cervical bones
- Spondylosis (spinal degenerative disc disease)
Neck traction offers specific advantages, including:
- Preventing muscle shortening and contractions
- Reducing pressure on affected areas
- Restoring blood flow and nerve function
- Providing stability to the neck
- Correcting deformities
- Allowing injuries to rest
- Relieving pain
Individuals with neck problems often experience symptoms such as numbness, tingling in the arms and legs, and significant pain. While the exact mechanisms of how neck traction works are not fully understood, it is believed that traction helps relieve pressure on nerves and promotes muscle relaxation, resulting in pain relief.
Traction may be applied intermittently, alternating with periods of rest to enhance blood flow to the nerves. This approach is typically used for degenerative disc disease and limited neck mobility. In sustained traction, weights or force are applied for longer durations, typically up to one hour. This method is primarily employed for muscle pain and herniated discs.
Risks of Cervical Traction
Problems from neck traction are rare. People who have certain health conditions probably shouldn’t use this therapy. These include:
- Aortic aneurysm
- Spinal cord tumor
- Major anxiety
- Untreated high blood pressure
- Recent neck injury or surgery
- Chronic cervical disc degeneration
Your physical therapist or doctor will decide if you should use neck traction and if an at-home traction device is a good idea.
If you have any of the following symptoms during neck traction, you should stop immediately and be assessed by your doctor:
- Nerve pain in your extremities
- Pain suddenly goes away
- Neurological symptoms
- Muscle weakness
- Vision loss
Neck traction is one way to help with neck pain and other problems. Your muscles and tissues and spine are sensitive to damage, so it’s best to get advice from your doctor first.