Traction is a therapeutic method to relieve pain by stretching and realigning the spine. Placing a stretch on the spine separates the vertebrae and helps to relieve direct nerve pressure and stress on the vertebral discs. Cervical traction is a common nonsurgical treatment for a herniated disc in the neck that relieves pain by opening up the cervical foramen to reduce pressure on compressed nerve roots exiting the spinal canal. Traction can either be applied manually or by spinal traction devices. Traction is more useful for neck conditions than for lower back pain.