Cervical spinal traction is used for the short-term treatment of neck pain. It is designed to relieve muscle spasms and nerve root compression. Using a manual (hands only) or mechanical technique, a steady or intermittent force is applied to the neck to stretch the muscles and soft tissue and open up the spaces between the upper vertebrae. The physical therapist determines the amount of force and length of time a person remains in traction. Slowly, over time, the amount of pressure is increased.
Lumber traction can relieve pressure on compressed nerves, help muscles relax and reduce muscle spasms. Traction increases the space between vertebrae - reducing pressure on intervertebral discs and nerve root. It is also used to treat degenerative disc disease, herniated or protruding discs and osteoarthritis. As with cervical spinal traction, the process separates the space between vertebrae, which decompresses discs, alleviates pain and supports healing.