Spinal traction is a form of decompression therapy that relieves pressure on the spine. It can be performed manually or mechanically. Spinal traction is used to treat herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, and many other back conditions.
Spinal traction stretches the spine to take pressure off compressed discs. This straightens the spine and improves the body’s ability to heal itself. Patients with spinal conditions benefit from this therapy because the traction reverses the force of gravity. It is most commonly used to treat bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, facet disease, sciatica, foraminal stenosis, and pinched nerves.
Spinal traction therapy can be administered manually or mechanically, depending on a patient’s needs. In manual spinal traction, a physical therapist uses his hands to put a patient in a state of traction. Then he or she uses manual force on the joints and muscles to widen the spaces between vertebrae. In mechanical spinal traction, a patient lies on a table that has special tools to stretch the spine. A physical therapist will attach a series of ropes, slings, and pulleys to the patient to mechanically relieve pressure.
Spinal traction is a non-surgical way to relieve pain and correct problems in the spine. While it does have some potential side effects, spinal traction offers consistent relief for most patients.
Before undergoing spinal traction, a patient must speak with their physical therapist to create a total-management treatment plan. Spinal traction often works as an enhancement for other therapies, with the help of other physical therapies, many patients find great success with spinal traction. Treatment reduces pain and the body is more capable of healing itself. Some patients only need spinal traction therapy for a short period of time. Others need it throughout their lives.
The results of spinal traction include pain relief, proper spinal alignment, and decompressed joints. Spinal traction stretches the muscles and bones in the back to combat the effects of gravity. Under the right circumstances, this could significantly improve the way a patient moves and feels throughout the day.