Chronic neck pain can cause us to rely on medication to relieve the pain. But medication doesn't usually work very well, and only causes us to depend on it for very minimal relief in return. A more natural way to treat neck pain is by using neck traction device. This can be done at home, or with a physical therapist. There are many ways for you to get relief from this, and different types of equipment you can use for it. Some physical therapists will use manual traction, by having you lay down on a flat surface while they gently stretch and pull the back of your neck towards them with their hands. While mechanical equipment allows you to use it by yourself, for convenient at home use. Below you'll find the most commonly asked questions.
Neck Traction Device
What Is Neck Traction?
Neck traction is when you use a mechanical device, or have your physical therapist manually stretch your spine for you. By stretching the spine, it releases any tension that you've been feeling. The vertebrae in your neck expands while this is happening. This creates a narrow opening in-between each vertebrae, which creates the expansion. You will feel immediate relief once this happens, as it relaxes the muscles in your neck.
If you've had a recent injury that's causing you significant pain, your first thought might be to use medication for immediate relief. However, many medications don't provide as much relief as it should. On top of that, it's not good for your body to continue using medication for a long period of time. Depending on your injury, you should be able to safely use a neck stretcher for pain relief. It's always best to run it by your doctor, or your physical therapist first to be sure that it's okay. You don't want to further injure yourself.
Some injuries such as a slipped disc should be perfectly fine, and even recommended to use cervical traction as your treatment plan. Another common injury that's perfectly safe to use traction for is a pinched nerve, or muscle spasm. While your spine is being stretched, it will provide an instant relief for you. Any tension that you feel will be released, as the neck stretches cause your muscles to relax and aligns your spine.
What are the Benefits of Cervical Traction?
There are many benefits to using this as a treatment option. The main benefit is the fact that it's a natural pain reliever. You won't need to rely on muscle relaxers, or pain medication which only helps to alleviate pain temporarily. Having a mechanical traction device, or your physical therapist manually stretch your neck will actually improve your mobility.
It doesn't just provide immediate relief, but it actually makes an improvement in your range of motion. If you have a slipped disc, this will help to allign it so that your spine will go back to the natural position that it should be in.
Neck injuries are quite common, and can easily be treated. If you suffer from muscle spasms, or a pinched nerve, then you know how difficult it can make it for you to move around. It becomes challenging to bend, lift, or do our usual activities.
This can make working, chores, errands, and any other daily tasks that you need to do extremely difficult. When you have a muscle spasm, or pitched nerve, the muscles in your neck tense up. This only increases the pain with movement. You can release the tension in your neck by using a traction device.
It does this by gently pulling, and stretching your spine. You're muscles will start to feel relaxed, and you'll be able to feel any pressure being lifted as you begin to stretch. A compressed spine can be extremely painful. So, having a device that can decrease the amount of pressure will not only make your neck feel lighter again, but it will also give you more flexibility.
Muscle tension is another common problem that many people experience in their neck. Most people can feel their muscles tense up when they're under stress, during an illness, or while sleeping in the same position for long periods of time. But you don't need to walk around with muscle pain all day and suffer through it, if you properly treat yourself at home.
Here are some of the benefits to using a neck traction device:
- Relieves muscle tension.
Increases your range of motion.
Helps to allign your spine.
Decrease pain from pinched nerve.
Relieves pain and pressure from neck injury.
These are just some of the many benefits to using a neck traction device as part of your treatment plan. You can use it at home, or you can have the help of your physical therapist. You might even want to have a friend, or family member do it with you.
They can possibly help you get a better stretch then you would be able to do on your own. Although, you can do just as good of a job on your own in you carefully follow all instructions. This device can truly be a life saver, as many of us end up having to miss days of work due to chronic pain. You can do your stretches before, and after work to help you get through your days.
How to Practice on Your Own?
You can safely practice on your own by following all instructions, and making sure that you ask your doctor or physical therapist beforehand if it's safe for you to do. As long as they give you the okay in advance, then there's no reason why you can't benefit from it. It's easy to use at home, and it's also a quick and convenient way for you to relieve any pain.
There are different types of mechanical traction devices that you can use, and each work work a little different. But they all produce the same results.
If you're unsure of which one to use, try finding a devise that you think you'd be able to use with ease. You want to find a device that you feel comfortable with using on your own. Some traction devices can be used over the door, while others can be used while laying down.
In order to decrease, and alleviate any muscle pain or stiffness in your neck that makes it difficult for you to move around, you'll need to follow each manufacturer's specific instructions. You can also get advice from your doctor, or physical therapist on stretches that you can do at home.
Is it Safe to Use at Home?
Many people wonder if it's safe to use on your own, and the answer is yes. It's perfectly safe to use on your own at home. If you aren't sure, then you can always ask your doctor or physical therapist beforehand if it's okay to use. Depending on what's causing your neck pain, will be your answer if it's safe to use by yourself.
Common neck problems, such as a pinched nerve or muscle spasm, are typically safe to use and is even recommended by many medical professionals as a treatment option. It can even be safe to use on a herniated disc, as long as your doctor says it's fine. If you have muscle tension or stiffness, that's another good reason to use a traction device and is perfectly safe. It's typically safe to use for almost all situations.
There are a few circumstances that you'll need to watch out for, in order to avoid further injury to yourself. If you have severe neck trama, or an injury that might require surgery then you should get the okay from a medical professional first. Tumors in your neck, arthritis, bone weakness from osteoporosis, and other conditions similar to this are generally not recommended for at home use.
It might be safe to have a physical therapist treat you if you have one of these conditions, but you should avoid trying it by yourself. This can increase your pain if you're supposed to avoid any stretching, or extending of the spine.
What are the Reasons for Neck Tension and Pain?
Neck pain can be caused from a number of things. But the most common causes seem to be muscle pain, stiffness, and tension. Many times this type of pain can even cause people to have migraines, or tension headaches. Other common causes are from neck injuries.
The most typical type of neck injury are the ones that cause a misalignment of the vertebrae. This can either be caused from an injury, or normal wear and tear of the cartilage. It tends to typically get worse with age. Less common causes of pain can be from arthritis, or osteoporosis. Arthirtis typically happens later in life and generally occurs in people over the age of 65, while osteoporosis can start much sooner. But both conditions can start at any age, and is much more likely if you have a family history of it.
If you choose to use cervical traction as your treatment plan, you'll be pleased to know that most neck pain and injuries can safely be treated at home. It's a much safer alternative to using medication for pain relief, and will provide you with relief much faster than any prescription medication would.
You'll be able to notice an improvement on the same day that you start using your traction device, as the stretching will release any tension in your muscles. Once you've tried it and found a stretch routine that works for you, you'll be able to use it as often as you'd like.