Cervical Traction Device For the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain
People who have never suffered from chronic neck pain aren’t able to understand how this type of pain can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. But for someone who lives with this ongoing pain, a cervical traction device can be an essential tool that can help to reduce pain and improve mobility. These devices come in a wide range of sizes, offering different levels of pressure, setups and extra features that can help to make treatment more effective.
What Causes Cervical 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 are left tensed, stiff and sore. The nerves can become pinched because vertebrae are out of alignment. A physician can prescribe medication for pain, which can help to some extent, but it’s not a long-term solution for an ongoing problem.
Surgery is another option but one that most people decide against considering the lengthy recovery time, not to mention the cost. So, what’s a solution to chronic neck and back pain that actually works?
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 can work by moving and stretching the neck into a more neutral position. These devices offer immediate results that cause the user to feel the pressure subside in just minutes. Over time, the right type of traction device can move the vertebrae back into place, easing the pressure on pinched nerves. This treatment paves the way for the nerves to heal and recover and the inflammation in the muscles in the neck and upper back to disappear.
Whatever the underlying cause of the pain, seeing a chiropractor or physician regularly is all part of the plan. This condition can also require a person 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 to better manage your pain and improve how you feel in a number of ways.
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 help to reduce the frequency in which a person experiences painful tension headaches.
At times, neck pain can be exacerbated by poor posture, but there’s also a chance that the presence of 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 pain. Even as a traction device is easing the stress and tension on the neck, it also works to help the user resist the urge to slump over. This can go a long way toward correcting poor posture and easing tension in the upper back 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 device twice daily for fifteen minutes per session. In between this time 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 frequently throughout the day can prevent you from turning your neck comfortably because it can cause increased inflammation or tender muscles. Because of this, it’s recommended that you closely follow your doctor’s instructions in regards to frequency of use and the length of each treatment.
When a person tries to sleep with chronic pain it can be almost impossible. The right model can calm distressed nerve endings and allow the user to find a more comfortable position. Keep in mind that there are inflatable models that are designed to be worn during sleep. Because a device keeps the neck in proper alignment and provides the perfect amount of support, the odds of waking up feeling pain-free will be significantly higher.
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 chronic neck pain, do not begin using a home traction system until you get the Okay from your doctor.
Try to determine exactly what’s causing the pain. There are many causes of chronic neck pain and the reasons can vary. Knowing what is causing your pain can help make it easier to find a model that’s designed to provide relief without causing more damage.
If you’ve been looking around online, it probably didn’t take you long to notice just how many different kinds of device are used for home traction treatment. You’ll need to evaluate several different kinds of systems along the way and determine which type of system will be the most effective for you.
Some people find relief using the older over the door devices. Just as the name implies, this type of device does involve the use of a door and it can be any door in the home. Keep in mind that this type of product requires assembly, however, the assembly process isn’t difficult. 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 neck and head during treatment. Many people who have tried this style of traction have complained that it applies too much pressure, and of course, unlike a small traction device that features a hand pump to control pressure levels, the over the door models do not give the user control over the amount of pressure that’s used. Another drawback is that over the door models are not portable, so if you’re looking for a model that you can take along when you go on vacation, this definitely isn’t it.
Inflatable cervical 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 used. Each setting will exert a determined amount of pressure, with the goal of finding the right level of pressure that will work to gently bring the vertebrae back into alignment. Many people who have used inflatable models find that they can help to 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 get up and move around the home. Some of these models are even comfortable enough to sleep in. Another perk that comes with this style is that it places absolutely no pressure on the chin and jawline. Inflatable models also often come with a handy carrying case that makes them easy to pack up and take along on a trip or outing.
However, with this type of traction device, you’ll need to be on the lookout for models that have a reputation for leaking after only a month or two of use. Like all products, inflatable models are not created equal and some are made with lower quality materials.
If you’re looking for a device that’s similar to the type that professionals use, a posture pump is a great choice. These models are more expensive than the other two options we have discussed, but they’re well worth the cost. Like the inflatable models, a posture pump is equipped with controls that will allow the user to adjust the pressure. However, the overall design is a little different. This style is often referred to as a cervical posture pump and 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 pressure is needed to relieve your pain.
These devices are often larger than inflatable models and they’re pretty similar to the devices that are used at a 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 can last significantly longer than an inflatable model. Keep in mind, unlike the inflatable devices, this style of traction device is designed to be used while the wearer is in a prone position.
A traction pillow is another option and one that can help you to sleep better at night. The right kind of pillow can help to minimize pain and ease pressure on the neck, working to bring the neck back into alignment. People who don’t have the slight curve in their necks usually find this type of pillow to be perfect for sleep. The pillow will support the neck along the sides and back. If your chronic neck pain often causes headaches, resting your head on a memory foam 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 traction models when you’re traveling.
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 cervical collar is initially applied and adjusted by a medical professional in order to ensure that the device prevents the wearer from turning their head during recovery.
Some people claim that wearing this type of device can prevent any pain caused by movement, but it doesn’t do much in terms of managing chronic neck pain. A 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 chronic neck pain, it can be easy to become confused by all the different models and styles. Your best bet is to meet with your doctor and find out which type of machine or device would work the best for you. One model may be perfect for sleep, while another will be better for stretching. Keep in mind that as you improve, you may need to swap out one device for another, depending on your progress and the severity of the condition or injury.
Cervical Traction 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 pressure that the user is able to precisely control. This model is the perfect solution for managing chronic neck pain at home and it comes with a reputation for being one of the best models 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 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 and it features two angled EED air cells which work to decompress and shape the upper back and neck area. It 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