“Neck Traction - Rehabilitation at Home”
The benefits of neck traction for the relief and rehabilitation of a Bulging Disc or herniated disc have been well known for years. Physical therapists and chiropractors utilize neck traction with long-term results all the time for their patients in order to help heal bulging disc neck pain and yield lasting relief.
Chiropractors and physical therapy clinics may often time refer to this form of treatment as spinal decompression. The procedure can be done manually with the help of your healthcare professional or mechanically via a special traction machine.
What they won’t tell you is that this same exact technique can be employed in the comfort of your own home, with little to no monetary investment. Yes, doing self-traction or neck traction at home is possible.
Benefits of Neck Traction
Some of the benefits of performing self- traction for the neck are as follows:
- You can perform neck traction in the comfort of your own home.
- You can do neck traction as needed whenever it is needed.
- It is totally free!
The above picture is a neck traction technique that applies a gentle upward pulling force. It may help reduce discomfort caused by headaches, neck strains, and pain or tingling in the arms caused by a pinched nerve.
How to Perform Neck Traction
Instructions on making and performing your own neck traction are as follows:
- Fold a small bathroom towel until it is approximately 6 inches wide.
- Use a rope about 5 or 6 feet in length; tie the two ends of the towel together as shown in the picture above.
- Tie the other end of the rope to a secure object (A doorknob works well). The towel should just barely touch the floor.
- Carefully lie on your back with your head near the towel and feet away from the door, with knees bent as shown. Gently place your head in the towel sling. The neck should be slightly bent forward. In this position there should be about 1-2 inches of space between the back of your head and the floor. To obtain a greater stretch, the knees can be placed straight.
- Maintain this position for about 5 minutes at first, and as tolerance improves, increase the time up to 15 minutes. Do not exceed 15 minutes.
What to do After Neck Traction
I would also recommend the use of a cold pack or ice pack immediately following your session of neck traction to reduce soreness and reduce the inflammation of “pinched” nerve roots.
Cold packs can be an effective tool and it can be especially effective following traction. But this is merely my clinical experience as a physical therapist talking, as I do not have research or clinical studies to back this statement up.
Do not continue your neck traction if symptoms of numbness or tingling is increased. Be careful not to fall asleep during your self-traction session. Use common sense when doing your own neck traction, as symptoms increase or become worse, seek the advice of your medical professional.
By Tommy Hoffman, Licensed Physical Therapist
Instructions for "Home Neck Traction" is now available in video format: