In order to alleviate pain in the cervical area by gentle stretching, neck traction is often utilized. The latter is completed by chiropractors, physicians, and therapists to relieve painful symptoms in patients. However, certain techniques of this kind can be performed in a patient’s home, provided proper neck traction equipment is utilized.
Health care practitioners perform traction in a variety of ways. They may use mechanical devices designed to gradually open up the spaces that exist between each cervical vertebrae. This in turn relieves pressure on the spinal discs and alleviates pain and discomfort. Certain professionals use intermittent traction as well.
A technique referred to as over-the-door traction is a popular type of therapy for those with cervical problems. The patient’s neck is placed in a kind of harness that hangs over a sturdy door. The harness holds either water bags or weights, which are used to gradually stretch the area and ideally alleviate discomfort and pain.
A slanted board or inversion table may also be used on those suffering from cervical pain. An inversion table is utilized to place the chest and head in such a position that gravity will take over and gently coax these areas to relax and move in a downward motion. This can also be completed by positioning the patient on a slanted board. The latter is a padded plank that is quite wide and it is attached to a simple fulcrum that stays stationary during the treatment. However, those with vertigo, high or low blood pressure, or glaucoma should not participate in this type of treatment.
Simple neck braces are frequently used on such patients also. Devices of this kind are generally only worn when one is up and about, although individuals who need such braces while sleeping can be prescribed a softer version of the device. The brace selected will primarily depend on the reason for which it is being worn, and suggestions made by the patient’s physician.
Equipment is not always needed to complete certain techniques. For example, some practitioners recommend various yoga poses to reduce pressure in the cervical region. However, it is always wise to first consult a medical doctor before attempting to participate in yoga. If one does not perform the motions correctly, his or her condition may be exacerbated.
Using an orthopedic pillow is another basic form of traction therapy. Such devices were developed to support a person’s shoulders with a large, high role, while allowing his or her head to hang down. It is not wise, however, to sleep on such a pillow, and they should only be used for a limited amount of time, which is approximately 30 minutes, unless one’s physician directs him or her to use the device for longer period of time.
Because there are so many different techniques available, a patient must sometimes participate in various types of therapy before finding the one that is most helpful. A physician or chiropractor can offer guidance regarding this issue. It is never wise to attempt to treat oneself.
Neck traction equipment should always be used under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. Attempting to use such devices without proper instructions can result in serious injury. Anyone suffering from cervical problems or chronic pain should seek the advice of a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
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