Traction Benton, Malvern & Bryant, AR


Pro-Active Physical Therapy offers Mechanical Traction among many other therapeutic modalities. What is Mechanical Traction? Mechanical traction is a technique of distracting the spine and stretching the surrounding tissue and musculature. Mechanical traction is also referred to as “spinal traction”, “lumbar traction”, “cervical traction”, “decompression therapy”, or “vertebral traction”.

Mechanical traction uses a mechanical device that exerts a pulling force through a rope connected to various halters, straps, or cervical Saunders device. The harness device is placed around the hips, chest or neck depending on what segment of the spine that is being treated. The harness is then connected to a machine by a rope that applies a pulling force. The traction or decompression force results in a longitudinal separation and gliding apart of cervical (neck) or lumbar (back) spinal segments The amount of pull (force) and duration of pull of the mechanical traction vary depending on the desired goal your physical therapist is trying to achieve.

Why use Mechanical Traction?

Pro-Active Physical Therapist use Mechanical Traction for a variety of desired outcomes. The main purpose of Mechanical Traction is to reduce symptoms of cervical (neck) or lumbar (back) spinal compression. This is accomplished by vertebral joint distraction allowing increased space for spinal nerves or decompression of the nerve roots, elongating muscle tissues, decreasing sensitivity and muscle guarding, decreasing disc pressure and increasing blood supply to the disc. Decreasing the pressure of the disc may help retract disc bulges.

Mechanical traction is commonly prescribed for bulging discs or herniations, nerve root impingement such as sciatica, stenosis of the spine, joint hypomobility/stiffness, muscle spasm, neck pain, low back pain, whiplash, and headaches.

While Mechanical Traction may offer pain relief and decreased symptoms for patients, mechanical traction is rarely used as the sole intervention for low back or neck pain. Recent research shows that mechanical traction combined with exercise and manual therapy leads to greater improvements than just traction or exercise alone. Mechanical traction is a useful tool along with the many other offerings we have with Pro-Active Physical Therapy. When you are evaluated by a Pro-Active Physical Therapy professional, we will determine if traction is needed as a tool to return you to your happy and active lifestyle.

For more information contact us at 501-778-4960.