Home Blog Dr. Timothy Harcourt, Chiropractic Physician In Fort Myers Points Out Cervical Traction For Neck Pain

Dr. Timothy Harcourt, Chiropractic Physician In Fort Myers Points Out Cervical Traction For Neck Pain

Dec 27, 2021 -- Posted by : Dr.Harcourt

In addition to spinal manipulation, doctors of chiropractic often use other conservative therapies to reduce pain and improve function in patients with neck pain. When it comes to neck conditions involving herniated disks, radiating arm pain (“radiculopathy”), strains, facet syndromes or sprains, and myofascial pain, cervical traction is one such option.

As part of the initial new patient examination, a chiropractor may use their hands to gently pull on the patient’s neck while in sitting and/or supine (lying on the back) positions. If this feels good, then cervical traction may be warranted either in the office, with an at-home unit, or both. However, cervical traction is not advised if there is instability in the spine/ligaments, vertebral artery insufficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, osteomyelitis, discitis, neoplasm, severe osteoporosis, untreated hypertension, severe anxiety, cauda equina syndrome, or myelopathy.

There are various forms of cervical traction devices, so treatment may be performed while the patient is in a standing, sitting, lying horizontal, or inclined either prone or supine position, and the traction force can be continuous or sustained vs. intermittent or pulsed. Variables include body/head weight and the associated friction against the traction table in lying down types of units, and the angle can often be varied with most types of traction units.

There are pros and cons to different types of traction units. Lying down traction may allow for better relaxation vs. sitting, but more weight may be needed due to the friction of the body on the table. Generally, when hold times are longer (especially with sustained traction), less weight is used. Some doctors advocate starting at 5 lbs. (~2.67 kg) for 15 minutes with a sitting device (sustained traction) and gradually increasing the weight to maximum tolerance while keeping the time constant at 15 minutes.

There are a number of theories on why traction relieves pain: it forces rest through immobilization and by supporting the weight of the head, it pulls apart or opens the facet joints, it improves nutrition to the joint cartilage, stretches ligaments, it decreases the pressure inside the disks, it reduces pressure on nerve roots (by widening the holes through which they travel), it improves head posture, and/or it stretches the neck muscles to improve blood flow and reduce muscle spasm.

The bottom line, if you have neck pain and manual traction applied to the cervical spine provides pain relief, then your doctor of chiropractic may choose to incorporate this therapy into your treatment plan, either in the office, at home, or both.

So, if you are experiencing neck pain and type in pain management near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up. 

You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my neck.”

Some people will try stretching first to see if they get relief from their neck pain.   A pulled muscle generally will get better with rest.  Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional.

Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 or stop by on your day off for a walk in visit and  mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.  So if you find yourself experiencing neck pain that is affecting your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy Fort Myers Beach. Come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway. 

If you would like to avoid getting neck pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.

Don't let neck pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL! Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need.

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