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. Mrs D, a 78 year old woman has very severe sacroiliac joint pain, and even more severe cramps in her right leg. There are two problems; she is on two diuretics but no slow K. Taking her temporarily off one diuretic and adjusting the SIJ brought 50 percent relief within four days. 

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has  two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

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. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks 75 percent improved. No longer vomiting all falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

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.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

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.


You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.