In the neck, also known as the cervical spine, there are seven vertebrae. Cervical traction gently stretches these vertebrae in the neck to create space between the vertebrae in order to keep the spinal discs healthy. Cervical traction may be needed as a result of a neck injury due to whiplash in a car accident or from sitting for long periods of time at work or while driving.
Untreated neck injuries, neck pain or discomfort can become worse and create bigger problems if left untreated.Forgoing treatment could result in chronic neck pain, stiffness, and this pain could move into the upper back and shoulders.
The first step to getting treatment for a neck injury or neck pain is to see your doctor. Medical professionals can give a proper diagnose. Once diagnosed treatment can range from spinal decompression therapy using a traction table in a clinic to using at home traction devices.
A common device used for at home cervical traction is to use an over the door traction set up. This set up is hung on the top of a door and then while seated on the floor with your back to the door you lower the harness to your chin and the you strap the harness to your chin.
Once the harness is strapped on you simply apply tension to the cord which then provides traction for the cervical spine. Some over the door devices use weights or water bags to provide tension and traction.
For safety, tension or traction should be released by simply removing the harness from your chin. Tension or traction should never be release by standing up.
It is important to follow all instructions that come with your at home traction device as well as to consult with medical professionals. Using a tractions device can be unsafe if not used correctly.