In this article, we will explore what cervical traction is, along with its many health benefits and some of the conditions it can be used to treat. Whether you are experiencing chronic neck pain for the first time or you have been attempting to manage the condition for years with multiple treatment options that have failed, cervical traction can provide the pain relief you crave at an extremely affordable price.
What is Cervical Traction?
Cervical traction is basically a fancy-sounding medical term for a simple process – the practice of gently pulling your head away from your shoulders in order to stretch the muscles in your neck and upper back and to create space between your vertebrae. There are different ways to achieve this movement, including:
- Manual cervical traction – Generally performed by a physical therapist, who uses their hands to apply a gentle and sustained pulling motion on the head while the client lays on their back or stomach. The therapist will typically pull, then release, and then repeat.
- Mechanical cervical traction – The movement is generally also facilitated by a physical therapist, who will fit the client’s head and neck into a harness attached to a machine or pulley system that draws the head away from the shoulders.
- air cervical traction – Typically meant for use at home, where a person will place a device that operates like a neck brace around the head and then inflates by using a hand pump, creating a similar pulley system that provides the drawing motion.
Your head is heavier than you might think – 10 or 11 pounds on average. That is a lot of weight for the spine to carry around, especially when the center of gravity is out of balance due to poor posture. Cervical traction counteracts gravity's constant downward pull. When utilized regularly, it can provide lasting relief for chronic neck, shoulder, and even head pain.
How Does it Work?
Cervical traction helps alleviate painful stresses by pulling the head up for a change, instead of down. It's incredible that an action this simple can allow someone to avoid costly surgeries or extensive medical treatments, but for many people, it is a lifesaver. Here are a few of the effects that regular cervical traction can have on the neck:
- Muscles and ligaments around the spinal cord that may have become tight and tense over years of stress, injury and posture issues, can begin to relax and stretch out.
- The area between vertebrae in the spine, which can often become compressed, pinched, or out of alignment, begins to expand and regain its normal, healthy level of space. This allows for a better flow of blood and nutrients along the body’s natural highway.
- The improved blood circulation maximizes oxygen levels in and around the spinal area. This creates healing and increased flexibility for the neck and upper back – people are often surprised by the difference this can make to their comfort in their body and their overall quality of life.
The complex network of blood vessels, nerves, and discs around the spinal cord tends to be an extremely sensitive area of the body. Even seemingly minor jolts, bumps, or knocks can cause serious injuries that have far-reaching consequences. Similarly, any improvements in this area can create significant enhancements in health and wellbeing. Cervical traction is a simple treatment with a long list of potential benefits.
Cervical Traction Benefits
When performed consistently and safely, cervical neck traction can result in a plethora of positive outcomes on the body. With regular treatment and the use of a neck traction device, it is possible to regain freedom and comfort in the neck area. Some of the many potential improvements can include the following:
- Better alignment of the spine
- Improvements in blood circulation and overall sense of well-being
- Increased mobility and flexibility
- Reduced pain and stiffness
Over the course of a lifetime, it is common for the muscles around the spine to become extremely tight and for the vertebrae to lose their natural alignment from accumulated injuries, improper posture, and even simple wear and tear. Pain, discomfort, and a reduced range of motion are all too familiar symptoms of such spinal misalignment; fortunately, cervical traction can provide relief.
Conditions Treatable by Cervical Traction
Scientific studies have found evidence backing cervical traction as a medically viable method of treating many conditions affecting the neck, shoulder, and upper back area. Regular and consistent treatment has been shown to alleviate symptoms and make lasting improvements to the following conditions:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Cervical spondylosis
- Pinched nerves
If you suffer from these conditions, you are all too aware of the adverse effects they can have on your quality of life. By drawing the head up and away from the shoulders, cervical traction benefits overall spinal health. The process creates space between vertebrae and relaxes the surrounding muscles and ligaments, allowing the body to better apply its natural healing processes and to begin regaining its proper range of motion.
The Mayo Clinic defines cervical Spondylosis as "A general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal discs in your neck." It is a prevalent condition that affects roughly 85% of Americans over the age of 60 and is caused by dehydration and shrinking of the discs between vertebrae that tends to naturally occur over time. While many people do not experience symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis, in some instances, the condition can result in pain and other unwanted side effects.
Since the discs in a person’s spine function as a kind of cushion that allows the vertebrae to rotate and move without the grinding of bone-on-bone contact, the decreased space and deteriorating condition of these discs can cause certain chronic problems. A few of the common issues that occur with age and contribute to the condition of Cervical Spondylosis include the following:
- Bone spurs
- Dehydrated discs
- Herniated discs
- Stiff ligaments
If you have begun to suffer complications resulting from these issues, it is essential to know that treatments do exist. When used in conjunction with physical therapy and an active, healthy lifestyle, cervical traction can alleviate the symptoms and help delay the onset of Cervical Spondylosis.
While cervical traction can help treat and provide relief from a variety of chronic problems affecting the neck, it should be worth remembering that there are certain cases where cervical traction may not be appropriate. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, cervical traction may cause injury and should be avoided:
- A recent fracture in the spine
- Bone infection
- Neck tumors
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Surgery-related hardware such as bolts or screws in the neck
As with any medical treatment, regular cervical traction should be undertaken in consultation with a doctor or physical therapist. In some cases, it may be possible for unwanted side effects to occur. In the vast majority of cases, cervical traction is a safe, pain-free, and effective course of treatment. If you notice any of the following issues, you should stop cervical traction and consult a doctor immediately:
Why the NeckFort™ Pillow?
The NeckFort™ Pillow provides a portable, affordable option to enjoy the benefits of cervical traction wherever you might find yourself. Instead of relying on costly appointments with a physical therapist or experimenting with various complicated contraptions, it’s possible to fit consistent, safe, and comfortable treatment into your busy schedule with a single low-cost purchase. The NeckFort™ Pillow is lightweight and beautifully designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of lifestyles.
All you need to do to gain the benefits of the NeckFort™ Pillow is have 15-20 minutes of free time and a sit where you can relax into relief. The device can be used anywhere without any installation, giving you the flexibility to utilize it in various environments. Used consistently and safely, the NeckFort™ Pillow can provide quick and lasting relief from nagging neck pain.
What Makes the NeckFort™ Pillow Different?
While there may be a number of different ways to perform cervical traction, we're confident that the NeckFort™ Pillow will become your treatment of choice. In designing the product, we were conscious of every aspect of the experience, from comfort to weight, to ease of use. When you factor in the affordability, there really is no comparison between the NeckFort™ Pillow and our competitors.
The NeckFort™ Pillow and Physical Therapy
Though the NeckFort™ Pillow provides a flexible and cost-effective way to experience the many benefits of cervical traction, the product is not intended to completely replace physical therapy. The spine is a complex biological system, and injuries to this area may require additional treatments and the close monitoring of a doctor or physical therapist.
The NeckFort™ Pillow is meant to supplement physical therapy.
Professional treatment can be expensive and difficult to fit into a busy schedule. We designed the NeckFort™ Pillow with the intention of allowing people to maintain a steady treatment process of cervical traction without overspending on costly appointments. Our product is portable, lightweight and inexpensive, allowing you to get relief at home or the office, even if you only have 10 minutes to spare.
Cervical traction is a viable and effective treatment for neck pain and a number of other medical conditions affecting the spine. When performed regularly and safely it can provide lasting relief from a variety of chronic conditions. In other words, cervical traction works.
The trouble is, regular visits to a physical therapist for manual cervical traction are often too expensive for most people. Although there is a range of cervical traction methods, the NeckFort™ Pillow presents a low-cost, beautifully designed alternative that surely stands out as the best on the market. In only 10 to 20 minutes a day, you can get relief from chronic neck pain. Try the NeckFort™ Pillow today.
- Written by DR Jeremy Cale
Cervical Traction for Neck Pain. Healthline.
Intermittent Cervical Traction for Treating Neck Pain. Spine.
Cervical Spondylosis. Mayo Clinic.