What to Know About Neck Traction

What Is Neck Traction?

Neck traction, also called cervical traction, is a type of stretching that is often used for neck pain.

The term traction can mean different things in health care, but it generally refers to using a pulling force to treat joint, bone, or muscle problems. This is often used in physical therapy or orthopedics to treat:


Long-lasting muscle spasms





Benefits of Neck Traction

Neck traction is used in physical therapy settings, the emergency room, and sometimes at home. It is considered a non-invasive way to stabilize fractures or dislocations in the neck and spine. It’s also used for:



Pinched nerves

Cervical disc disease

Misalignment of cervical bones

Spondylosis, or spinal degenerative disc disease

Stenosis, or narrowing of the cervical space




Neck traction has specific benefits, including:

Easing muscle spasm

Stopping muscles from shortening and contracting

Easing pressure

Helping to bring back blood flow and nerve function

Keeping your neck stable 

Correcting deformities

Resting an injury

Relieving pain

People who have neck problems can sometimes have numbness and tingling in the arms and legs and a lot of pain, among other symptoms. It’s not fully clear how neck traction helps, but it’s thought that being in traction can take off some of the pressure on the nerve, and help muscles relax, which brings relief.


Sometimes traction is used on and off with periods of rest. This might bring more blood flow to your nerves. This kind of traction is used mostly for degenerative disc disease and when your neck doesn’t move well.

What to Know About Neck Traction 1

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