If you have researched Chiropractic Care treatment options, you may have encountered numerous Chiropractic methods that range from stretching to diet modification to manual manipulation. You may even have even come across information about traction, which is a common Chiropractic technique that involves the prolonged stretching of joints and ligaments in an attempt to relieve neural pressure. Mechanical Traction is a very successful non-surgical procedure that relieves pressure on compressed nerves, helps muscles relax and also reduces muscle spasms. Traction increases the space between vertebrae reducing pressure on discs and nerve roots.
Spinal nerve compression often affects individuals suffering from degenerative disc disease, facet disease, or arthritis of the spine. A compressed, pinched nerve can cause symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness – symptoms that spread as far as the fingers and toes. Consequently, traction is an attempt to “open up” spinal subluxations, or abnormalities, and gradually move them back into their proper alignment so that nerve compression is eradicated.
Types of Traction Used in Chiropractic Care
Traction approaches will differ based on the individual needs of the patient, but may include the following:
- Mechanical Traction: Motorized pulleys with adjustable tension settings stretch the patient by applying a flexion and distraction motion to the spine.
- Manual traction: The Chiropractor uses his or her bare hands, or employs a manual pulley system, to stretch the patient’s spine. Weights may or may not be attached to the manual traction pulley system.
- Anti-gravity traction: An inversion table is used so that the body weight of the patient applies a downward stretch to the spine.