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.
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.
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.
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.
The process is highly effective in people who are suffering from chronic pain in the neck and spinal cord.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mechanical traction is not appropriate for all. Avoid the treatment if you have any condition from the following list:
Allow your physician to decide whether the risks are worth the reward by analyzing your medical history.
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.
The overwhelming impact of the traction will help you to live a better life. The common results include:
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.