Home traction unit

Keywords: home traction unit, skeletal traction, home traction devices, cervical traction collar, cervical traction devices, neck traction device, home cervical traction.

PS: There is a major upgrade on this page coming in the next couple months.

Much of the frustration surrounding neck pain is that patients feel trapped. They feel there's so little they can do for themselves. They are spending large amounts of money, perhaps after an old whiplash injury that was not correctly managed, on chiropractic, physiotherapy, perhaps are facing neck surgery; and frankly the results are not always satisfactory.

Having been in practice for thirty plus years now, I keep encouraging patients to use their own resources and intuitions. I show spouses how to do gentle massage, I encourage use of a sloping desk, neck exercises; and a home traction unit. There actually is quite a lot you can do for yourself. Home traction devices are one of those things.

There's a collar that you slip around your neck, which is attached via a pulley to a bag of water. Decide with advice from your chiropractor with how many litres to begin.

Lie quietly on your back, having your neck stretched, listening to some of your favourite relaxing music for about  twenty minutes. Not tchaikovsky's cannons symphony!

There are commercially available units that can be used for skeletal traction. An inversion device is good for the low back but it doesn't help much for your neck, if at all; there are any number of cervical traction devices on the market.

When looking for home traction devices, I personally prefer those where you are lying down, rather than sitting. Home cervical traction is definitely something that can contribute meaningfully and cheaply to your well being. Plus it gives you the feeling that you are regaining a measure of control over your nasty neck.

The device above costs around one hundred dollars.

Ex South Africa that is, but I'm sure your local orthopedic store will have them. Try the internet.

An innovative patient who had a neck injury with radiating pain down his arm, made this little neck traction device. What's nice about it, is that it tucks away against the wall, but is very easy to swing into position when needed. It cost him no more than ten dollars to make.

What you will also need is a cervical traction collar to fit around your chin and hea, but that you can easily make from the design below. Another option is a cheap kid's helmet, with a hole drilled in the top for the cord.

How much water in the jerrycan? Officially no more than 7kg, 7 litres of water, but some people go far higher. Build up slowly from 1 to 2kg for about 20 minutes.

I've certainly noticed that he is needing less treatment since he started using it. For over a year prior to treatment he was unable to ride his motor cycle because it caused so much pain in his neck and arm. Now after some months in care, and the use of his neck traction device he tells me he is planning an extended trip on his new dream machine through the former Soviet republics. Estonia, Latvia; ah,  how I wish I could join him!

Update; The trip was a great success. He had some neck discomfort if he rode more than 5 hours a day, which he had to do twice, but overall a very happy holiday. Chiropractic plus a home cervical traction.

Cervical facet syndrome 

The sudden onset of acute neck pain, in the absence of recent trauma, is usually caused by the entrapment of a small slither of the capsule between the faces of adjoining facets.

The Chiropractic adjustment, followed by continuous skeleton traction and ice provides a powerful therapy to reduce the offending fragment of the capsule and provide rapid pain relief.

Stiff neck exercises for neck pain

What else can you do yourself for your horrid neck? A disciplined set of exercises done on a daily basis can also help you regain control of your neck pain. 

If you have a horrid neck then you will probably never be independent of your chiropractor, just the same if you have diabetes or any one of a very long list of medical conditions. But we do our best to encourage you to make the best of your own resources. Hence a Home traction unit

The extremities of the body, those parts directly in contact with the environment, your hands and feet, your face and head generally, are far more sensitive to pain. Head neck pain, whether from your neck, your jaw joint, a rotten tooth, a sinus infection, is a huge problem in today's society. Cheap or free pain pills are not the answer.

If you really want to improve your health think home nutrition, think too of a vegetable patch, and even making a compost pile. For that you need a little more room. You'd be astonished how many green beans you will get off just a few pole bean plants. Enough for a daily green bean salad for weeks and it's all really dead easy. Yes, you will have to turn off the television one weekend a month.

So too think support from your cartilage. Cartilage has no blood supply of its own and is utterly dependent on fluid in the vicinity that is rich in oxygen and nutrients.  Making a bouillon from your chicken bones is one big helper. So too a diet of fatty fish at least twice a week for its omega 3.

For the vegetarian think no further than freshly ground flax seed. Cheap and very easy.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Mrs T looked like the leaning tower of Pisa; she had a slipped disc at L5 making her lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; she's much better after two weeks of treatment and will go back to work next week, part time. Lateral discs are more difficult; both take a minimum of six weeks to heal. In my opinion, antalgic patients need what I call exercising bed rest. Sit and it won't get better.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months. He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the groin pain, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

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Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

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