Best Cervical Traction Devices

Cervical traction devices are a popular treatment for pain specifically in the neck area. This device pulls the head away from the neck to eliminate any pain-causing pressure in the spine. Due to its effectiveness, it is often included in physical therapy treatment. It’s easy to use, so treatment could be done at home, and you can search for one online.

right pillows for neck support

Defining the Cervical Traction Device

If you experience neck pain or other effect of pressure on your cervical spine, cervical traction may be a good way to treat and relieve this pressure and any potential symptoms or pain. A cervical traction device can be a great form of physical therapy and a way to prevent long term problems with your neck. Curious about how to use a cervical traction device, or how traction systems work?

What are Cervical Traction Devices Used For?

Using a device along with massage techniques can really relieve the stress and tension in the neck.  There are various devices to choose from. However, the search to find one that will help relieve stress and pain with the right force applied is important.  There are massagers as well as cervical devices that can be used in conjunction for better results.

Immediate Relief for Neck Pain

The nature of this device will allow the patient to immediately feel relief. It is best for those who have been experiencing neck pain for several weeks already. As mentioned earlier, this device could be used at home. However, many of these devices require a doctor’s prescription so you still have to see a doctor if you plan on using it. Be aware of different ways to alleviate neck pain, and which is appropriate to search for the symptoms you are experiencing.

How Cervical Traction Devices Work

How exactly the cervical traction device works can vary based on what type of device it is. A water weight bag or over-door traction pulley system uses a system of weights and a harness to pull the chin and head upward and counterbalance its weight, and can actually be attached to your door. Many of the cervical traction devices used at home don’t have this over-door traction pulley system. Instead, some use a decompression brace or a mechanical traction system that uses a pump to expand and stretch the head and neck and straps with a headrest rather than a harness. The purpose of each device is to take the pressure and stress from the head off the neck and cervical spine.

Neck Pain and how Cervical Traction Can Help

You may already be experiencing neck pain and considering cervical traction to treat your symptoms. Understanding the type of neck pain you experience, what its source is, and how best to find recovery and pain relief you like will be helpful in determining whether cervical traction can help you and what type of neck traction you may want to search for.

Types of Neck Pain

The descriptions and resources listed here for informational purposes thanks to meta analysis in medicine can help you determine the possible cause and location of neck pain you might be experiencing. If you have neck pain or back pain, the first step is to find out where it is coming from before finding a treatment and avoid future issues or developing negative physical conditions.

Nerve Problems

Neck pain caused by nerves (such as cervical radiculopathy, a type of neck pain involving pinched nerves) is a common problem. A disc in the neck can become degenerated or herniated, causing nerves in the spine to become pinched or poked.

Muscle Issues

A strained muscle can be caused by too much exertion, long periods of force, or other causes. Stiff, tense muscles can occur from lack of movement, bad posture or position of the body, or an injury that hasn’t had proper recovery.

Joint Complications

A worn out or damaged joint, especially in your neck, can be a cause of pain and can occur from posture, an injury, or simply age. It is important to check with a medical professional and have an x-ray if you suspect you are experiencing joint or spine injury. Physical therapy done wrong can cause these problems to worsen.


Any part of your neck, including a muscle or bone, could cause significant pain if injured from physical activity, whiplash, or another cause. You may want to have a doctor look at the injury and assess its seriousness. Find out what kind of recovery will be best, whether it is a surgery, working with a physical therapist, or simply an at-home treatment.

6 of the Top Cervical Traction Devices

Once you have identified your source of neck pain and determined that cervical traction is a potential solution, the next step is to find a device that will work best for you. You may be working with a physical therapist, or you may be doing your own treatment at home. If you are going to be searching for your own cervical traction device, here are a few of the neck traction devices commonly used and recommended.

Saunders Cervical Home Traction

The Cervical HomeTrac is a great traction force treatment option that consists of a flat surface and neck cushions with a head strap and a hand pump to create pressure applied and stretching the head from the neck and the muscles in the neck to relieve the vertebrae. Clients who reviewed this said it is portable, easy to use and adjust and doctor approved. It is important to use caution with this cervical traction system and not increase the force being applied too high too quickly. Check out a customer review of Saunders Traction!

ComforTrac Cervical Traction Unit

The ComforTrac system uses a surface with a memory foam headrest and forehead strap with a hand pump piston and rails that pull the pad and the head upwards, stretching the neck. This unit is simple to set up and use, effective, and has some great safety features. It can take time to learn how to use the system, but provides significant relief. Once again, always be careful that too much force is not applied too quickly. Check out a customer review of the ComforTrac Unit!

Pronex Cervical Traction

This model of traction uses foam cushions to cradle and position the neck and head, supporting the head and inflating with a bellows to stretch the neck evenly. Clients who reviewed this said the Pronex traction is one of the most convenient and easy to learn and use systems available, requiring no assembly or setup. It is a simpler design than other more sophisticated traction units. Check out a customer review of Pronex Cervical Traction!

Bodysport TracCollar

This simple collar fits around the neck, secured with velcro, and can be inflated with a pump. Clients who reviewed this said it’s constructed well and very affordable as a neck traction force option as well as safe and easy to use. The Bodysport collar is fastened behind the neck and can require additional help to secure or remove, but it can be taken anywhere and requires no assembly. Check out a customer review of Bodysport TracCollar!

Pratos Cervical Traction Unit

This system consists of a headrest and forehead strap and legs that extend on either side of he headrest to allow for either neck extension or flexion. The Pratos unit has a total of five positions that can be used, and it is relatively lightweight and affordable.

DDS MAX Cervical Traction Collar Neck Brace

This collar neck brace simply fastens around the neck and has manual air pump to inflate and extend it while still allowing for mobility. This is a unique advantage of the neck brace, making it more convenient than systems where the patient must lay down or sit during use.

The position required to operate these devices may vary, and the amount of force applied as well as the type of relief they provide can vary. Before you make a decision about the type of unit you need, make sure you search for enough information about the features and ensure that it is the ideal design you need.

Benefits of Cervical Traction Devices

A lot of patients have given feedback and agree that this device brings significant pain relief when applied. Aside from that, it also improves flexibility, and it can improve serious neck pain that prevents one from moving the head left or right. Doctors, including chiropractors, use this device to deal with muscle spasms, pain in the neck joints, injuries and tensed nerve.

Traction to Reduce the Effects of Work

This treatment is best for those involved in work that requires them to look down for long periods of time. The force applied will improve posture and help align the spine in a proper fashion. Which allows you to continue with your usual workload. It is still best that you only do light activities during the first few treatments as this kind of therapy can be a bit painful, especially when combined with other strenuous activity. 

Doctors Often use Neck Traction

Maybe you are already working with a physical therapist or a doctor. Having a traction system of your own can give you the ability to administer your own treatment at home in addition to working with your physical therapist and get more effective results. Head and neck traction can provide relief and additional help in the recovery process and are often recommended to patients by a physical therapist.

Other Uses and Safety

Traction is a great example of spinal technology and the use of mechanical designs in medicine. Not only can they treat conditions and provide pain relief, they can perform preventative purposes as well. It is wise to search for informational content on when you can and when you should not use a traction unit or brace, how it is used safely, and what dangers to take care to avoid.

Using Traction without Symptoms

Did you know that there are people who use this device even though they do not experience chronic pain? Yes, you can have neck and back issues and not experience pain. Maybe you are concerned about improving your posture and preventing the negative effects of poor posture, so you search for content that can recommend a solution other people usually like. Keeping your spine aligned is important with or without pain. It may even be more effective to use before you start to experience pain. A physical therapist will commonly recommend cervical traction and other forms of physical therapy, including exercises to strengthen the neck and back in order to keep the spine and neck in good condition and proper alignment. This can prevent a lot of spinal issues in the future.

Safety Guidelines

Since cervical traction devices are recommended by chiropractors and similar health professionals, you can be sure they are safe. Aside from being safe, they are pretty easy to use. You just have to follow the guidelines that come with the device you choose to purchase. It is so convenient to have a treatment option that doesn’t even require you to step outside your door. However, please be reminded that there are cases where this device should not be used for patients with metal implants and spinal tumors. You will want to consult a doctor first before you make the investment.

Cervical Traction Set

If you search online, there are plenty of resources and content to help you find reviewed products and feedback on the different features so that you can see what others are saying about different devices and what kind of performance it can provide. Knowing how well different spinal traction devices perform, what position the unit requires you to take, how the unit is reviewed by customers and medical professionals, and any other information that could effect your decision such as cost and length of warranty.

Choosing the best Mechanical Traction Option

Aside from being effective many of these devices are inexpensive as well. Some are a little more pricey, but with better quality and the backing of excellent customer reviews. Some are ideal for people experiencing pain due to a herniated disc. Some even allow you to wear while you are doing other activities. Some may even search for the over-the-door harness pulley mechanical device.

Professional Guidance

As stated before, it is best that you talk to your doctor before starting any of these options. Some are safe to use daily and others should be used every other day to give the body a break. There is not a one size fits all solution applied for spinal care, but thankfully medical professionals provide all kinds. Please remember to always follow the directions of a trained professional.

References and Sources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) – Orthoinfo – AAOS–conditions/cervical-radiculopathy-pinched-nerve/

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. What About Whiplash?


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Mayo Clinic. Neck Pain – Symptoms and Causes

Mayo Clinic. Symptoms

Medical News Today. Are Chiropractors Doctors? 5 Truths and Myths

Posture Pump.


Rehabmart. Pratos Five Position Cervical Traction Unit

Rehabmart. Saunders Cervical HomeTrac Traction Device

Spine Health. 3 Ways to Improve Forward Head Posture

Spine Health. 10 Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

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February 15, 2020