Home Cervical Traction

By | February 7, 2015

Cervical traction devices such as this Carex Head Halter Over the Door Traction available at Walmart are effective, inexpensive and easy to use.

Cervical traction devices such as this Carex Head Halter Over the Door Traction available at Walmart are effective, inexpensive and easy to use.

It is dangerous to compare therapies utilized for the cervical spine with those used for the lumbar spine, because the two spinal regions differ greatly in size and function. The lumbar spine is built for stability and strength as is appropriate for its basic function of bearing large amounts of weight. The neck on the other hand is delicate and graceful structure designed for maximum flexibility and minimal strength. The weight of the average human head is only about 15 pounds as compared to a hundred or so for the torso. This difference in size and attached musculature allows the development of small simple and relatively effective home cervical traction units. These devices usually consist of a rope and pulley, which are hung over the top of a door. One end of the rope is attached to a set of straps, one going under the chin and the other under the back of the head. The other end of rope is attached to a plastic bag, which is then filled with water. By varying the amount of water in the bag the patient can control the amount of traction applied to the cervical spine. Patients typically use these devices for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, once or twice a day. Despite the simplicity of these devices, they should be used only under the supervision of a physician and in all cases the stability of the cervical spine should be assured prior to the application of any distractive forces. At Schlesinger Pain Centers these devices are relatively infrequently because the majority of our patients with cervical spine problems also have problems in the lumbar spine and the use of an inversion table allows the patient to treat both areas at the same time.


Leave Your Comment