Your cervical spine area is a complex construct that endures much stress and trauma from performing daily tasks. Pain in the neck is commonplace due to what this area goes through every day in the modern world.
This guide will discuss neck pain, neck traction, stretching of the cervical area, and what devices are best for neck traction treatments at home.
Cervical Traction at Home
How can you do neck traction at home?
First, you choose the cervical traction device you need and follow the guidelines for each one.
You can choose from three different types of neck traction devices to use at home. Each one offers the same results, but they are different types of devices:
- Air Traction Devices
- Over-the-Door Traction Devices
- Posture Pumps
1) Air Cervical Traction Devices
Air neck traction devices are essentially neck braces. They are made up of three separate pillow units connected. You place the device around your neck and then use the hand pump to inflate it.
As the pillows fill with air they straighten and relieve the weight of your head on your neck while also pushing down on your shoulders.
To get a comfortable stretch for your cervical spine, you use the pump to gradually increase the air until you feel comfortable. During this stretch, your neck muscles will relax, and your cervical spine discs will realign and re-hydrate. Cervical traction also takes the pressure off pinched nerves and blood vessels.
- Ease of use
- No assembly required
- Use them at home, at the office, while you travel, or when sitting or lying down:
- Not every air-type cervical traction device is made of high-quality materials. It’s wise to avoid sacrificing quality for price because they can start leaking after a few uses. The best quality recommended in this guide is found below.
- Sometimes, this type of neck traction can put too much pressure on your jaw, so if you suffer with TMJ, speak with your dentist and doctor before using this kind of traction.
The Best Air Neck Traction Device
We have found the FDA Patented Medical Neck Cervical Traction Device by Wissmiss to be the most effective.
It’s made from extremely high-quality materials and is used in medical rehabilitation centres. on the downside, it’s pricier than a lot of products out there (because it’s better).
If the cost is prohibitive, then the ChiSoft Neck Traction Device comes in at a respectable second place.
Although it does have some mixed reviews, it’s your best bet if you can’t afford the one above.
2) Over-the-Door Neck Traction
Just as the name suggests, over-the-door cervical traction devices require a sturdy door to hang on and safely use. These devices require some assembly as you must put them over the top of a door.
Once the device is placed over a door, you put the halter around your chin and the back of your head. Instructions for placing the straps will be with your unit.
Tighten the strap to get a comfortable stretch by pulling down on the cord or by using a heavy weighted object like water bag units (not recommended).
- Once you have your over-the-door cervical traction system in place, it’s relatively easy to use. Make sure to properly install in over a solid and stable door. You can then sit in a comfortable chair and read or play games on your phone while it stretches your neck and relieves strain, tension, and pain.
- Over-the-door systems are not as portable as air neck traction devices. Unlike with the air device, this system does not allow you to lie down. You can only sit up.
- Make sure you tell the people you live with what you are doing because it can look dangerous.
- The time it takes to discover your perfect stretch to avoid putting too much traction force on your chin can be tedious.
However, once you figure it out, this is an excellent method of relieving neck pain & tension through traction at home.
The Best Over-the-Door Traction System
Our recommendation for the highest quality over-the-door product is the NeckPro II Over the Door Neck Traction Device.
3) Posture Pumps
The third and final type of neck traction devices for using at home is the posture pump.
Posture pumps are a little more expensive than the air type and the over-the-door type of traction systems, but they are well-worth it, and here’s why.
Posture pumps are well-built, high-quality, heavy-duty durable medial grade equipment style units. They are almost identical to those used in clinics.
These devices are larger, provide better traction, and are made from high-quality materials. Even though they are larger, they often come with a carry case and are light enough to be portable. The straps and head pads are soft, comfortable, and require no assembly.
You get to lie down and be comfortable with posture pump neck traction devices. You simply adjust the knobs on the base, place the strap over your forehead, and pump it up to get the desired tightness and pressure.
- Sturdier and more durable to last for years
- No air pillows to leak and no door needed to support it
- Comes with a carrying case to protect them and make them portable for home, office, or travel
- They apply no pressure to your jaw or anywhere that pressure shouldn’t be for neck traction
While these units are lightweight and designed to be somewhat portable, they aren’t as portable as the air cervical traction devices and they take up more space
You can only use them lying down
Posture pumps cost more, but they are a good value, especially compared to medical treatments
The Best Posture Pump
In my opinion, the best posture pump for 2018 is…
The ComforTrac traction kit has been around for a long time now, has great customer reviews and is made from high-quality materials that will last.
If the posture pump is something you are interested in, this Posture Neck Exercising Cervical Disc Hydrator Pump is substantially less expensive, but it is a high-quality device that relieves neck stiffness and pain.
It’s affordable, easy to use, and it aids in restoring your neck curve to its proper position. It is designed to correct forward head posture, neck and upper spine posture by hydrating compressed discs and decreasing bulging discs.
If you’re not comfortable with posture pumps, you may also consider buying an inversion table as an alternative.
4) Neck Hammocks
Neck Hammocks are a much newer concept.
The Best Neck Hammock
I’ve done my research and got myself one of the top-rated neck hammocks which is sold by Wisedom.
Bonus product time!
The Neck Hammock is a relatively new product with excellent reviews.
I’ll update this page after I’ve tested it further.
- It’s advisable to consult with your physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist before considering a home unit for cervical traction. You should be careful and know if it’s safe for you.
- Neck traction devices for home use are not recommended for anyone who has had neck surgery.
- Avoid overusing home cervical traction therapy regardless of the type of device you choose. You could do more harm than good to your neck by overstretching.
- Always follow the provided instructions with these devices and ask your chiropractor or doctor which type is best for you, how long to use it, and how many times per day to use it.
Other than safety precautions, at-home cervical traction devices provide an effective and safe way to stretch your neck and relieve tension and pain, so you can relax, sleep, or go about your daily routine without discomfort.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain has several causes and it can occur due to several types of disorders, diseases, and it can relate to any of the tissues in the cervical region of the spine.
The common causes of neck pain where traction can be effective include:
- Tension from prolonged sitting
- Muscle spasms in the neck
- Neck strain
- Poor posture
- Pinched nerve
- Neck injury
- Herniated cervical disc
- Cervical osteoarthritis or arthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
Note: Always check with a medical professional before using neck traction, regardless of the cause for your pain in the neck.
Cervical Traction Therapy
The cervical spine is the medical term for the discs in the neck. Your neck starts at the base of your skull and connects via seven vertebrae to the thoracic spine, which is the upper back.
Physical therapists use cervical traction for a range of neck conditions, but you don’t need a physical therapist to safely and effectively use neck traction in the comfort of your home (you should still consult with one before using any of these products though – inappropriate use can make your neck pain worse!).
The trick to doing this safely and effectively is to follow this guide to find the traction device that will most suit your neck pain needs.
This guide will help you simply and easily choose your traction device and teach how to perform neck stretches via traction safely and without spending a lot of money.
What is Cervical Traction?
Cervical traction is also referred to as neck traction and is a drug-free, natural treatment that relieves neck pain.
The goal of this therapy is to release the tension of your neck muscles, spread your vertebrae, and relieve pressure on pinched nerves.
During cervical traction, tension is exerted on your head to stretch the cervical spine and its supporting tissues, expanding the spaces between the vertebrae.
Neck traction often works quickly and efficiently to relieve neck pain without medications. Faster recovery from cervical spine injuries is another benefit of traction.
After traction, your cervical spine area moves back into place, which reduces the stiffness and pain you were experiencing before the therapy.
Other benefits of neck traction include:
- Improved posture
- Headache relief
- Lessened fatigue
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved flexibility
Overall, cervical traction, when used properly and safely, is an effective treatment for neck soreness, stiffness, and pain. It can help improve your quality of life.
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