Traction Therapy

About Traction Therapy:

Traction is a manual procedure that aims to reduce the pressure on the affected parts of the vertebral discs that cause pain. The traction-therapy is all about stretching the spinal column manually. It will reduce the pressure on the discs present in between the vertebrae. 

What is Traction Therapy: 

This particular type of therapy is a broad term that refers to several methods of applying mechanical force to separate the lumbar vertebrae along the entire axis of the spinal cord. The force application will be longitudinal. In the language of a layman, it is like pulling the spinal cord in opposite directions to stabilize or modify the damaged sections of the spine.

Plan Consultation

Types of Traction Therapy:

There are two ways to apply the therapy depending on your physical need. 

Manual traction: In this type, the physical therapist will use the hands to put you in the state of the traction. Then the skilled person will apply manual force at the muscles and joints to widen the space present between the vertebrae. The process may initially sound a little scary, but it is absolutely safe and can be really effective if you undergo the procedure under the experts. It will be a less time-consuming procedure too. 

Mechanical traction: The process is special as it includes using mechanical devices to stretch the spinal vertebrae and muscles. The procedure will allow intermittent and continuous stretching while you are on the traction table. It will combine massage, vibration, and heat to achieve the desired impact. But before undergoing this type of procedure, it is essential to undergo a thorough physical examination to see whether you are eligible for the treatment. 

Risks of Traction Therapy:

Usually, there are no long-term risks associated with spinal tractions. But side effects can be there, and they will arise during or just after the treatment. Many patients experience mild or standard muscular spasms after the traction. You can also have some pain in the treated area. 

Benefits of Traction Therapy: 

The process is highly effective in people who are suffering from chronic pain in the neck and spinal cord. 

  • Muscle relaxation

The problem is that the alignment of the vertebral column exerts undue pressure on the muscles. As a result, the muscles are constantly under stress. But the traction will help to relax the muscles and release the tension. 

  • Pain relief

The applied force helps in the controlled straightening of the spinal column. It will release the pressure that otherwise can cause pain. It will also allow a better physical environment to accelerate the healing process. 

  • Avoid surgeries

You can easily avoid surgical procedures by choosing the mechanical process of pain relief and spinal correction. The therapist or the machine will apply the necessary force.

  • Promotes overall healing

Accurate pressure application on the disc releases the healing nutrients that trigger the innate healing process of your body. Of course, it will encourage faster overall recovery. 

  • Complements other therapies

The process does not involve any surgery. Hence, it is completely safe to undergo other therapies like hot and cold therapy, electric stimulation, and ultrasound applications. 

The entire process is minimally invasive. But you can experience the benefits only when you undergo the procedure under skilled practitioners who have sufficient experience and knowledge to perform the mechanical or manual treatments. 

Who Shouldn’t have Traction Therapy:

Mechanical traction is not appropriate for all. Avoid the treatment if you have any condition from the following list:

  • Osteomyelitis and osteoporosis
  • Bone cancer
  • Spinal cord diseases
  • Cardiac problems
  • Spinal fractures
  • Arthritis

Allow your physician to decide whether the risks are worth the reward by analyzing your medical history. 

How to Prepare for Traction Therapy:

The preparation phase is more about consulting the doctor for creating a complete and well-managed physical therapy plan. Spinal traction acts as an enhancer for various other therapies. You may have to do some exercises regularly if the physician recommends at-home exercises. But it is not at all a mandatory part of the story. 

Recovery: What happens after Traction Therapy: 

The overwhelming impact of the traction will help you to live a better life. The common results include:

  1. Pain relief as the process will release all stress and pressure that cause pain. 
  2. Proper alignment of the spinal cord for better body posture. 
  3. Decompression of joints and nerves.
  4. Stretching the bones and muscles to strengthen them for combat against the gravitational impact.

Related Therapies:  

The right combination of traction and physiotherapy can yield great results, especially when you are suffering from conditions like a herniated disc or a misalignment of the spinal column due to some injuries. Pain relief is pointless if it is temporary. So you can undergo the procedure safely and bid farewell to lumbar pain once and for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is intermittent traction-therapy?
It is a type of spinal traction where the therapist will apply alternating compression and relaxation cycles that last for a few minutes. It can be effective in changing the position of the nucleus pulposus.
2. When to undergo traction-therapy?
Injuries and several conditions can cause much pain in the vertebral column. You can try spinal traction to treat such conditions as bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, and even sciatica. Therefore, it is viable for undergoing treatment for sports injuries too.
3. How long does it take for the decompression?
You may have to spend half an hour or around 45 minutes and that too, daily in the first couple of weeks. Then you have to visit twice a week in the last couple of weeks. Then you can reduce the number of visits to thrice a week for the next two weeks.
4. How does the process separate each vertebra?
Combining spinal positioning by implementing manual or mechanical force is the key to producing the decompression forces. The gentle pull creates a logarithmic curve, and the body starts responding to it by stimulating the self-healing aspects.

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