Spinal traction has been used for centuries as a treatment for spinal conditions. Today, spinal tractions main use is to manage trauma and pain in the neck, known as the cervical spine.
Spinal traction has many different uses including mobilizing soft tissues and joints, releasing pressure of pinched nerve roots and reducing herniated discs between the vertebrae. The most important use of spinal traction is managing instability in the neck.
Traction works by pulling parts of the spine in order to stabilize or correct the positioning of the spine. Applying force to the skull while the patient is kept stable is the usual method of spinal traction. Low amounts of weight (7-10 lbs.) are sometimes used in the traction process.
In the early days of traction, harnesses and straps were used to apply the force to the head. Over time, the method has been refined to become safer. Typically, a U-shaped device is attached to the skull. Also, a halo is used. A halo is a circular device attached to the head through the use of pins while the patient is lying down. Weight is then gradually added to create the force needed for the traction.
Other non surgical solutions