Manual traction is a technique used to improve neck and low back mobility, range of motion, and overall function. It is also useful in decreasing neck pain. Traction is used to help separate the discs, joints, and bones in your spine.
Manual traction is a technique in which Physical Therapist uses their hands to manually pull on the neck or legs creating a traction force. For neck traction, the patient is lying down on their back with their head at one end of the table. The physical therapist will then put their hands near the base of the patient’s skull. The therapist then leans back gently (not tugging) creating the traction force to the neck. The therapist will perform spinal decompression which is the relief of pressure on the vertebral segments of the spinal column. This is an effective method to treat conditions that result in chronic neck pain.
Cervical traction is a technique useful in the treatment of pinched nerves, herniated discs, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease, helping to alleviate neck pain or discomfort. It stretches the spine to take pressure off compressed discs. Instead of a Physical Therapist applying the traction force manually with their hands, mechanical traction involves a machine to perform the traction to the patient’s neck.
The patient will lie on their back with their head and neck secured to the machine that is on the table. When the patient feels comfortably secure to the machine, the therapist will start pumping the air pump which will gradually pull on the neck. Once the patient feels like it is the right amount of pressure, the therapist will lock it in that position and let the patient sit for a desired amount of time with that traction force being applied to the neck. When mechanical traction is used properly, it can help improve overall neck function and mobility. For more information, contact us at our Bedford, NH center, around the greater Manchester area.