Cervical Traction Device For the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain
People who have never suffered from chronic neck pain don’t understand how it can impact a person’s quality of life so much. For someone who lives with this ongoing pain, a cervical traction device can be an essential tool that can reduce pain. These devices come in a wide range of sizes, offering different levels of pressure, setups and extra features that make treatment more effective.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be the result of injury or certain conditions such as cervical foraminal stenosis. In many cases, the nerves and muscles in the back, shoulders, and neck (or cervical spine) are left tensed, stiff and sore, sometimes even limiting range of motion for the head when used. Pinched spinal nerves from vertebrae out of alignment may occur. A physician can prescribe medication used for neck pain, but it’s not a long-term solution for an ongoing health problem.
To get surgery done is another option but one that most people decide against considering the lengthy recovery time, not to mention the cost. So, what’s a health solution to chronic neck, spine, and back pain that actually works?
What Cervical Traction Does
This is where traction devices come in. Traction treatment is designed to release tension in the neck and upper back. This is accomplished by using a device that offers support to the muscles in the neck and without causing any additional nerve pain. Many products stretch the neck into a more neutral position. Traction devices offer immediate results, making stress subside in just minutes. Over time, the right type of traction device can move the vertebrae into place, easing the stress on pinched nerves. This therapy paves the way for the pinched nerves to recover and inflammation in the muscles in the neck and upper back to disappear.
Visiting a Chiropractor
Whatever the underlying cause of the pain, seeing a chiropractor, physician, or therapist regularly is important. This condition can require patients to work regularly with a physical therapist a couple of times a week. In between these treatments, a traction device for neck decompression can help you manage your pain and improve how you feel in a number of ways.
Exercise Used to Provide Relief
A person’s pain may not be limited to the neck muscles alone. Constant stress can trigger severe headaches. Using the right traction device can reduce the frequency in which a person experiences painful tension headaches. Sometimes exercise has been done and reviewed as effective to take care of pain, and simple arm, leg, and core exercises may suffice to provide effective therapy.
At times, neck pain can be exacerbated by poor posture, but there’s also a chance pain will cause a person to pull downward and inward, which is the body’s natural response in an attempt to find a position that’s less painful. Unfortunately, slumping the shoulders doesn’t help much to relieve neck pain. As a traction device eases tension on the neck, resist the urge to slump over. Cervical traction will correct the position of your back and easing tension in the upper cervical spine and shoulders.
Cervical Traction Units Buying Guide
Some people may think that home traction treatment will minimize their ability to turn their head from right to left. Depending on the model you choose, this can be true. Many models are designed to be worn for only a certain amount of time daily. For example, physical therapists typically recommend wearing a traction mechanical system twice daily for fifteen minutes per session. The device works to ease the user’s discomfort to the point where they can comfortably turn their neck without the need to swivel their entire body. Wearing a device for longer periods of time or using it too frequently can prevent you from turning your neck comfortably, worsening inflammation, cervical radiculopathy, or tender muscles. We recommend patients make sure to listen to a doctor or physical therapist in regards to frequency of use and the length of each health treatment.
When Symptoms are Severe
When a person tries to sleep with chronic pain or a pinched nerve in the spine, it can be almost impossible. The right model can help relieve distressed nerve endings and allow the user to find a more comfortable position. Some inflatable models that are designed to be worn during sleep. Because devices keep the neck in proper alignment and provides the perfect amount of support, they often provide effective pain relief.
Just because a person suffers from neck pain doesn’t automatically mean that they will benefit from home traction therapy. There are a few things to consider before you begin shopping for the right model. If you have recently had surgery to treat symptoms, do not begin using a home traction system until a physical therapist approves.
There are many causes of chronic neck pain and the reasons may vary. Knowing what is causing your pain can make it easier to find a model that’s designed to provide relief without causing more damage to your health.
Researching Treatment Options
If you’ve been looking around online, it probably didn’t take you long to notice just how many different kinds of devices are used for home spinal traction treatment. You’ll need to evaluate several different kinds of systems along the way and determine which type of system optimizes the effectiveness of cervical spinal treatment.
Traditional Over the Door Pulley System
Over the door traction devices are one way to help relieve and treat neck pain. Just as the name implies, this type of device does involve the use of a door and it may be any door in the home. This system requires basic assembly to use. The good thing about this treatment option is that the user is able to adjust the height for a more customized fit. Most models will come equipped with chin straps that the user will wear to stabilize their head and neck during treatment. Many people who have tried over-the-door traction have complained that it applies too much force, unlike a small mechanical traction at-home unit that features a hand pump to control pressure levels. The user also can’t control the amount of force they use. Over the door models also aren’t portable.
Inflatable cervical traction collars feature a set of rings that are inflated using a hand pump. The controls will allow the user to determine the amount of pressure they use. Each setting will exert a determined amount of pressure, with the goal of finding the right level that will work to gently bring the vertebrae into alignment. Many people who have used inflatable models find that they can reduce pain in just a matter of minutes. These inflatable devices allow the user to be more mobile than an over the door model. Once the correct setting is found, the user can move around. Some of these models are even comfortable enough to sleep in. This style also places absolutely no stress on the chin and jawline. Inflatable models also often come with a handy carrying case that makes them easy to pack up and bring along on a trip. Some neck traction models have a reputation for leaking after only a month or two of use though; inflatable models are not created equal.
Models a Physical Therapist Uses
A posture pump is a great choice for professional physical therapy use and neck traction. These models are more expensive than the other two options we have discussed, but well worth the cost. Like the inflatable models, a posture pump has controls allowing the user to adjust the traction pressure. However, the overall design is a little different. In order to adjust a cervical pump correctly, you must lay on a flat surface. Doing so will make it easier to adjust the straps and head pads for comfort. Once you get used to adjusting the device’s settings, it won’t take you long to know how much force is needed to relieve your pain.
These devices are often larger than inflatable models and they’re pretty similar to the devices that are often used by a physical therapist or physical therapy clinic. However, they’re much lighter and highly portable. The construction of the pump also makes it less vulnerable to leakage, so it may last significantly longer than an inflatable model. This style of mechanical traction device is designed to be used while the wearer is in a prone position.
Using Pillows for Treatment
A traction pillow is another option and one that can help you to sleep better at night. The right kind of pillow minimizes pain and ease stress on the neck and spine, working to bring the neck and spine into alignment. People without the slight curve in their necks usually find this type of pillow helpful. The pillow will support the neck along the sides and spine. If your chronic neck pain often causes headaches, resting your head on a memory foam neck traction pillow can help to prevent severe headaches in the future. Aside from their ability to reduce pain, traction pillows are also highly portable and can be used in place of larger mechanical traction units when you’re traveling.
Head and Neck Braces
Neck braces also referred to as cervical collars, is another simple solution that can help to reduce pain. These braces are often the first line of defense for people who are recovering from an injury. A collar is initially applied and adjusted by a medical professional in order to ensure that the device prevents the wearer from turning their head, neck, and spine during recovery.
Some people claim that wearing this type of device can prevent any pain caused by movement, but it doesn’t help with managing chronic neck pain. A cervical traction collar is often equipped with a thick layer of foam padding, which can often be removed for cleaning. People recovering from an injury can wear a collar during the day, removing it only for treatment with a cervical traction machine and for sleep.
When it’s Time to see a Doctor for Chronic Neck Pain
Since there are a number of options to choose from that all claim to minimize mild to severe pain, it can be easy to become confused by all the different models and styles. Your best bet is to meet with a health professional and find out which type of traction machine or device may provide the best relief for you. One model may be perfect for sleep, while another will be better for stretching. Make sure to swap out one device for another if needed, depending on your progress and the severity of the condition or injury.
Cervical Traction Devices Comparison Chart
Finding great cervical traction may appear challenging at first, but finding systems that are reviewed well by customers can help you find one that will be best for your pain relief needs. Let us offer a brief meta analysis and comparison chart.
|ComforTrac Cervical Traction Unit||Free instructional video|
Travel tote included
Offers fifty pounds of traction
Three year warranty
|Saunders Cervical Home Traction Unit||Highly portable |
Travel tote include
Offers fifty pounds of traction
|TracCollar by Bodysport||Inflatable |
One year warranty
Free carrying case
Two hand pumps that allow users to independently inflate each side of the collar
|Pronex Cervical Traction Device||Offers thirty-five pounds of traction |
Available in three sizes
One year warranty
|Posture Pump Dual Disc Hydrator 1400D Review||Features two EED air cells|
Equipped with comfort visor
Pronex Cervical Traction Unit Review
This cervical traction machine by Pronex works to instantly relieve pain by applying a gentle amount of force that the user is able to precisely control. This model is the perfect solution for managing pain at home and it comes with a reputation for being one of the best models reviewed on the market.Click Here to Read the Full Pronex Cervical Traction Unit Review
ComforTrac Cervical Traction Unit Review
The ComforTrac Cervical traction model received an impressive consumer rating when reviewed due to its unique design and its reputation for results. This model is top of the line when it comes to home traction treatment, so it comes as no surprise that it rated so well with consumers.Click Here to Read the Full ComforTrac Cervical Traction Unit Review
Posture Pump Dual Disc Hydrator 1400D Review
The Posture Pump dual disc hydrator 1400D is another model that rated well with consumers who reviewed it. It features two angled EED air cells which decompress and shape the upper back and neck area. The dual disc system also features a design that avoids contact with the jawline and chin, which makes it the perfect option for people who suffer from TMJ flare-ups.Click Here to Read the Full Posture Pump Hydrator Review
References and Sources:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) – Orthoinfo – AAOS https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/cervical-radiculopathy-pinched-nerve/
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. What About Whiplash? https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2020/jul/development/residency01/
Mayo Clinic. Neck Pain – Symptoms and Causes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neck-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20375581
Mayo Clinic. Symptoms https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms
Medical News Today. Are Chiropractors Doctors? 5 Truths and Myths https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322038#certifications
Posture Pump. https://posturepump.com/
Spine Health. 3 Ways to Improve Forward Head Posture https://www.spine-health.com/blog/ways-improve-forward-head-posture
Spine Health. 10 Tips to Prevent Neck Pain https://www.spine-health.com/blog/10-tips-prevent-neck-pain
Very Well Health. The 9 Best OTC Pain Relievers of 2021 https://www.verywellhealth.com/over-the-counter-pain-relievers-and-fever-reducers-770678
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