Neck (cervical) traction can be a very beneficial intervention when dealing with neck related ailments. By gently applying long axis distraction of the head and neck we are stretching muscles and joint related tissue. This can also help alleviate disc pressure and pain.
Distraction can be a useful intervention when dealing with bulging or herniated discs in the neck. This condition can be caused by traumatic events such as a car accident, fall or whiplash. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk, as can twisting and turning while lifting. It is important for everyone to practice safe lifting techniques at home and work to avoid injury. There are some situations when a bulging disc can press on a nerve as it exits the spine. This situation can manifest itself as neck, shoulder and arm pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensations.
When distraction is applied to a disc that is pressing on a nerve, it can help reduce pressure on the nerve and, in turn, reduce symptoms associated with this condition.
Some chiropractic physicians recommend home cervical traction devices. If this is the case it's very important to adhere to directions given by your doctor. Improper use of a home traction device could aggravate or worsen your condition.
Speak with your chiropractor about whether or not you could benefit from cervical traction to deal with your pain.