Neck traction at home
In clinic I’m regularly asked … ‘How can I traction my neck myself at home?’
It’s a great question but let’s take a step back and ask why neck traction could be a good thing to do.
Heads are Heavy!
The average head weighs 12 pounds which is the equivalent of a large bowling ball!
It’s perched on top of a stack of spinal bones called vertebra which in the neck are very small.
This causes loading on the joints which can become painful. Without going into too much anatomy detail there are basically two types of joints in the neck. There are the joints which have a ‘cushion’ known as ain intervertebral disc. And the smaller joints to the side called facet joints.
The interesting point to that is that neck traction is therapeutic and relieves pressure from BOTH types of joint. Neck traction therefore reduces symptoms such a neck pain, nerve pain in the arm and neck related headaches …but that’s not all, it stretches muscle, tendon and ligament soft tissues, particularly at the back of the neck which can get really tight, especially with poor posture.
Also if traction is done in the right way it can even show you where good neck alignment is again. This good alignment can be lost with poor posture and weakened neck stability muscles known as deep neck flexors.
Home neck traction options
So back to how you can neck traction at home!
Well, there are several neck traction options, some much better than others!
A very common one that claims neck traction at the moment is often called the neck cloud. What’s interesting about this product is that it can’t actually provide traction – no more than tipping your head over the back of, well anything really! … such as a pillow or even a 2 litre bottle of coke! It’s possible it could be helpful for a small group of disc pain sufferers but certainly could be aggravating for facet joint neck pain.
There are inflatable neck collars that can be used sitting or standing enabling you to carry on with activities but they are prone to developing leaks and have to overcome the weight of the head before they really start to open the joints. It’s also not very comfortable having something tightly wrapped around the neck, particularly at the front.
There are also neck traction devices that have straps for the jaw and back of the neck which are connected to a bag of water that hangs over a door. It’s most definitely not a good idea to put that kind of force through the jaw, this is especially true if you are a neck pain and headache sufferer. Whenever I used to show that to my patients it was met with a ‘no thanks!’
A sensible home use neck traction product is necksaviour.
So for neck traction at home, the office, the gym or when travelling necksaviours advantages are clear. There is no set up required, they can be used while just lying down and relaxing, they are light and very portable and each one has a light or strong neck option.
necksaviour is a multi design excellence award winner and costs less than a single session with a therapist but can be used time and time again whenever and wherever you need neck pain and headache relief without medication.
Here to help if you have any questions at all.