Many people suffer from symptoms of whiplash include neck and upper back tightness and pain, headaches, loss of range of motion . . . Whiplash is a common neck injury caused by forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck during an auto accident. One option to help manage neck and upper back tightness and pain is cervical traction. Cervical traction places a pull on the neck and helps stretch tight muscles and joints of the neck and upper back. Traction can help provide relief from pain and numbness related to disk herniations as well.
Cervical traction can be applied with different durations and different pulling weight depending on individual needs. Traction can be performed either sitting or lying down depending on the device. In many patient’s cervical traction helps to decrease symptoms and can contribute to lasting improvement over time.
Home cervical traction devices are available; however, it is important to take precautions with their use. Careful positioning of home units is required to ensure that the device pulls evenly. Some patients may not respond well to cervical traction and could experience increased spasm, discomfort, or increase in pain.
Cervical traction may not be appropriate for certain conditions, particularly those that involve ligament laxity or joint instability as cervical traction devices apply prolonged stretching to the neck and upper back.
A Chiropractor will be able to determine if cervical traction is appropriate for you as well as demonstrate proper use so you receive the most benefit. Contact a chiropractic clinic if you are suffering from neck pain and tightness and would like to see if cervical traction is right for you.