Traction Method For Low Back Pain

Black and white photo of a muscular man with a backache. Red selective color further illustrates pain. Clipping path included so image can be easily transferred to a different colored background.

What is traction?
Traction is a non-surgical decompression therapy and is used for low back pain, pain radiating to legs, arms and neck.

How does spinal traction work?
It is conducted either by manual or mechanical means to relieve a backache. It works against the gravity and utilizes traction and body positioning to decompress spinal discs and facet joints. It helps to straighten the spine aligning it in a way that it relieves the pressure off the spine thus making it easy for the spine to heal itself.

Which patients benefit from spinal traction?
It is used to relieve back pain associated with herniated disc, pinched nerves, degenerated disc, facet syndrome, spinal stenosis, sciatica, bone spurs and other problems related to it. The physician recommends the therapy after completely analyzing the patient.

How traction is conducted?
Before starting the therapy the patient must thoroughly discuss the whole management plan with the therapist. The main purpose of this therapy to stretch the spine for which the physiotherapist use his hands or back therapy devices basically to widen the intervertebral space due to which the pressure on the spine is reduced and nutritional substances are released which heals the spine thus relieving the pain. The physician may offer some exercises at home prior to the treatment but it usually does not provide enough benefits. It can be conducted at home by various exercises and devices.


Treatment tenure and cost:
If done by a therapist, each session lasts for about 35 to 45 minutes and it continues for one or two months consisting of 15 to 30 sessions and each visit may cost up to 30 to 200 dollars depending on which therapy the patient opts either traditional traction or decompression therapy.
Decompression therapy not only stretches the spine but also analyzes how much force is required to pull the spine to the appropriate level using the unit’s computer.

Benefits of spinal traction:

It relieves back pain in a non-surgical way and the problems associated with the spine may be corrected .The benefits associated with the traction therapy  is not well established but to some patients, it has provided effective pain relief.

Risks associated with spinal traction:
There are usually no grave risks associated with spinal traction, the short-term side effects may occur during or after the treatment which may include temporary muscle aches in the treated areas.

Outcome of the therapy:
The outcome varies from patient to patient, some patient requires it for few months while some may have to continue the sessions for the lifetime and it reduces a significant amount of pain for some people and promotes self-healing of spine.