As we continue our Chiropractic Care Series, this new series, we are looking at Traction – a common chiropractic technique that involves the prolonged stretching of joints and ligaments in an attempt to relieve neural pressure.
What is Traction?
Traction is a massage technique that helps to stretch the spine, decompress discs and reduce pressure on the nerve roots. This treatment is an attempt to “open up” spinal subluxations, or abnormalities and gradually shifts them back into proper alignment. Typically, patients lye face up as a system of rollers move along the back while stretching and massaging the muscles in their back. There are other devices chiropractors may use in traction, specifically to stretch te
What can Traction Help With?
Patients whom are suffering from degenerative disc disease, arthritis of the spine or facet disease can benefit from Traction. It will also help to reduce disc bulging as well as reduce discal pressures on nerves roots. If you are suffering from back conditions such as osteoarthritis or a compression injury, Traction can help to treat joint irritation. Traction also has benefit in stretching and lengthening the muscles and ligaments found along the spinal column.
What types of Traction are there?
There are two main types of chiropractic traction: manual and mechanical. Based on your issues or needs, the actual type of Traction your chiropractor would use may vary. Types of Traction include:
- Mechanical traction – Motorized pulleys with adjustable tension settings stretch the patient.
- Manual traction – The chiropractor may use his or her bare hands, or may use a manual pulley system, to stretch the patient’s spine. Weights may or may not be attached to the manual traction pulley system.
- Anti-gravity traction – An inversion table is used so that the body weight of the patient exerts a downward stretch on the spine.
Who shouldn’t use Traction?
Traction should not be used on patients with serious bone conditions such as osteoporosis, osteomyelitis and bone cancer, or with heart disease and spinal cord diseases. Additionally, this treatment is not appropriate for patients with spinal fractures or arthritis. However, for patients whose conditions are due to spinal issues, minor to moderate muscle spasms, over-or under-stressed muscles and joints and minor injuries, traction could provide short-term pain relief.
If you are interested in Traction, or other Chiropractic Services, please contact us today!