Cervical Traction

Written by Tara Peris
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Cervical traction both provides immediate pain relief and promotes a patient's long-term recovery. It's an easy, non-invasive approach that can even be continued in the patient's home, in between office visits. Traction is one of the most widely used treatments for cervical pain. Good cervical traction will work with the natural shape of the spine to relive pain. There should be no forced twisting or pulling with this technique. The goal is to provide balanced support to the cervical region without upsetting the temporomandibular joint. This requires balanced traction for both the front and the back of the spinal discs.

Popular Methods of Cervical Traction

One popular method of cervical traction is using over-the-door devices. Quality online vendors will be able to offer you several types of over-the-door devices to choose from, at prices that won't be near what you'd pay to a traditional vendor. Over-the-door devices work for pain caused by pinched nerves, muscle spasms, whiplash, insomnia, and even tension headaches.

It's best if the patient is taught how to use such a device in the office first, since a bit of trial and error is involved to get the set-up just right. To make the process as foolproof as possible, look for devices that use a racheting device that tells the patient each and every time the tension is increased. Most clinical settings feature tension that steadily increases, and it's a good idea to explain this to the patient, and then to ask him or her to demonstrate proper usage of the device before recommending home usage.

For more precise cervical traction, look to deluxe kits that offer customizable sizes. Your practice could benefit from having several such kits on-hand, for use with patients who require up to fifty pounds of cervical traction at a time. Look for units that allow you control the angle of traction, anywhere from 15 to 25 degrees. Units should direct traction forces toward the back of the head in order to prevent stress on the temporomandibular joint. Some deluxe kits even come with an instructional video that you can have your patients watch prior to treatment.

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