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Traction

I'm wondering if anyone has ever had neck traction done, and if it made them feel worse afterwards. I did my first physical therapy appointment the other day and had traction for the first time. Later that evening my neck felt worse along with my upper back. I also had some tingling in my upper back and some weakness in my hand. I have to disc herniations at 5-6 and 3-4, and also and osteophyte at 4-5 that is mildy flattening the cord along with that disc at 5-6 that is touching the cord also. I read somewhere that traction could be dangerous when the cord is involved, because of the disc or osteophyte scraping the cord during traction. Does anyone know if this is correct? You would think the physical therapist would know but she never said anything. I have an appointment again tomorrow, and I'm afraid to do the traction again. I also get a lot of tightness in the throat from these neck issues, anyone else? Thanks!
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Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    cervical traction unit. It was a head harness with a pulley system over a door with a bag of water for weight.

    I used this for about 3 years before having cervical surgery. It did help and provide some pain relief. Once I had my ACDFs, any traction for the cervical area was no longer permitted.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • ChuckRoastChuckRoast Posts: 37
    edited 02/27/2014 - 2:37 AM
    Jill728 said:
    I'm wondering if anyone has ever had neck traction done, and if it made them feel worse afterwards. I did my first physical therapy appointment the other day and had traction for the first time. Later that evening my neck felt worse along with my upper back. I also had some tingling in my upper back and some weakness in my hand. I have to disc herniations at 5-6 and 3-4, and also and osteophyte at 4-5 that is mildy flattening the cord along with that disc at 5-6 that is touching the cord also. I read somewhere that traction could be dangerous when the cord is involved, because of the disc or osteophyte scraping the cord during traction. Does anyone know if this is correct? You would think the physical therapist would know but she never said anything. I have an appointment again tomorrow, and I'm afraid to do the traction again. I also get a lot of tightness in the throat from these neck issues, anyone else? Thanks!
    The problems with most PTs doing cervical traction are many. They usually get the angle wrong. They start out with too much force and they don't vary the force.

    It is possible that a disc or bone spur can damage the cord in the cord is already compressed. For the most part, if done right it is safe.

    I tried over the door but you have to use too much weight. Your head weighs 15 pounds so you need at least that much to get any pull. What I do is use the over the door harness with a therapy band and I attack it to a hook in the wall and inch my way until is get a good pull of about 15 pounds and a 15 degree angle. I pull and release for about 20 minutes. It helps and my range of motion is better and the grinding stops for about 8 hours.

    The disk do distract and if it were not for gravity they would stay distracted and the height would be higher.

    I have also used a pump up collar but I like my set up better.

    I believe the maximum safe amount is 60 pounds.

    Post edited. We need to validate the treatment documented by this member. No member should try treatments documented by other members unless the treatment is medically approved and that you have discussed it with your doctor for their approval

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 02/27/14
  • I have used the over the door model, the pump up pillow type called chirotrac, and i now have the saunders home unit and i love it. It does give me relief for a little while and then the muscles start pulling again and here comes the pain. I do like the traction!
  • JerrileeJJerrilee Posts: 4
    edited 05/29/2014 - 4:05 PM
    I have had traction on my low back and now am worse with pain. I have herniated disc in my neck as well and have felt that tightening you feel too. Do you ever find it difficult to swallow?
    Jerrilee
  • I had cervical traction at physical therapy at least three times, the first one in I think 1996. I could feel immediate relief. But then again I went to a spine specialty physical therapy place.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    I had several at a physical therapy rehab center. While my neck was being stretched I always had this weird light headed sense, almost like drifting away into the clouds (perhaps my 1960 era had come back!). After the traction felt good for a couple of weeks.

    The other type is the home over the door pulley and water bag system. I used that for a couple of years. Varying the amount of water in the bag and the length of time using it. Again, I had good success with that (but no light headed escapes)

    But remember after any cervical fusion, traction should not be done unless the doctor specifically orders it.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • buffgirl23bbuffgirl23 Posts: 76
    edited 05/30/2014 - 6:12 AM
    A friend of mine uses the cervical traction thing at home, too. She's had good luck with it.
    Never had the light headed feeling, Ron, but maybe I wish I did! That would be a throw back to the '70's era for me! LOL
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