What is the Traction technique?
The traction technique is a manual technique designed to reduce pressure on the affected vertebral disc or peripheral joint.
In manual traction, a sports physiotherapist uses their hands to put people in a state of traction. Then they use physical force on the joint and muscle to widen the intervertebral space.
Indication of Traction technique:
- Reduction of nerve root impingement.
- Prevention of deformity.
- Correction of soft tissue contractures and relaxes muscles by stretching soft tissues.
- Decreasing pain.
- Mobilize joints.
- Relief radiculopathy.
- Helps to open up joint spaces in the spine to take the pressure off, for example in a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, etc.
Physiotherapists can manually give traction or it can be done mechanically by a device or machine. Also on the spinal and peripheral joints traction can be applied.
A physiotherapist does traction techniques for the following joints:
Cervical traction- cervical traction helps to relieve pain associated with neck nerve root compression or neck muscle spasm. The head lifts at 25-30 degrees of angle to stretch the muscles and soft tissues of the neck. This opens up the space between the upper vertebrae which releases tension and pressure on the neck structure. A sports physiotherapist uses a hand or some type of strap or towel to do this.
Different types of cervical traction are- manual traction, an overhead pulley system, a pneumatic harness system, a posture pump, mechanical traction,
Cervical traction can be applied when- There is cervical spine instability. The herniated cervical intervertebral disc. Reduced cervical curve. Speed healing of injured neck structures. Muscle spasm. Loss of cervical mobility. Etc.
Lumbar traction- lumbar traction uses a selected quantity of tension to the lower spine to ease the pain associated with muscle spasms and nerve root impingement in the lumbar area.
Lumbar traction can be helpful in the treatment of- Narrowing of the intervertebral foramen. Osteophyte encroachment. Disc bulge or herniation. Nerve root impingement. Subacute injury. Paraspinal muscle spasm. Etc.
Different types of lumbar traction are- Manual lumbar traction (in hook lying position, the patient’s knees are pushing toward their head as the pelvis is pull in the opposite direction). On the traction table with the pulley system. Inversion table. Posture pump. Unilateral traction. Unilateral position traction.
A physiotherapist also does this technique for peripheral joints like the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip knee, ankle, or interphalangeal joints.