Those suffering from neck pain often turn to their medicine cabinets in hopes of relief, but there are potentially more effective drug-free therapies available. Traction, often referred to as cervical traction, is becoming a common and effective way to treat neck pain. This therapy limits or prevents movement, and stretches the tissues and discs to help heal the cause of neck pain.
Two very common causes of neck pain are compressed discs and pinched nerves.
These issues often take a long time to heal because it can be difficult to rest the neck. Traction may be helpful in resting the neck so that the nerve, disc or other issue can heal. Just like a sprained ankle, when the neck is injured, it needs to have its movement and use limited so that the tissues can heal.
So You Got Pinched Nerve Or Compressed Discs In Neck?
Compressed discs and pinched nerves in the neck are two of the most common neck-related issues that people seek treatment for. Both can cause pain, numbness and weakness that disrupt the life of a person experiencing them. Knowing how these two issues occur is very helpful in being able to avoid falling victim to them.
How Does Compressed Disc in the Neck Happen?
There are several factors that can lead to a compressed disc. One of the most common causes is wear and tear. As we get older, the shock absorption and mobility that our spinal discs afford start to wear on them.
On average, around 30 years of age is when the first signs of this wear and tear are noticed, then as the years pass, more issues can arise. Pain is usually the first sign, followed by increased discomfort, declining mobility and other symptoms, such as numbness and weakness, if a herniated disc starts to press on surrounding nerves.
For those already experiencing degeneration, an injury can compound the problems caused by a compressed disc. When the disc is degenerated, the wall of the disc is starting to wear down. A good example is how a tires’ treads start to wear down as the car is driven over time.
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Are Spinal Discs Causing You Neck Pain?
The same thing happens to the wall of spinal discs. Then, an injury can easily rupture this already vulnerable disc. For example, the disc wall is worn down and then you take a fall and twist in an odd way. This can cause the inner components of the disc to protrude through and cause symptoms. If the disc is severely weakened, sometimes all it takes is a hard sneeze to rupture a disc.
An injury can cause this regardless of the state of the discs. A perfectly healthy disc can be ruptured by trauma, such as a car accident or incorrectly lifting a heavy object. Anything that puts too much pressure on the disc can cause it to compress and rupture.
What’s The Cause Pinched Nerves in the Neck?
A pinched nerve in the neck results from excess pressure on a nerve root. A compressed, or herniated disc, is a very common cause of this. The disc ruptures and the inner components leak out. This can put pressure on any of the nearby nerves, causing a variety of symptoms, such as pain and weakness.
Degenerative joint disease can result in pinched nerves. This disease can cause bone spurs, which are basically little bony balls that can put pressure on structures close to them, such as nerves. This is most often seen in people who are elderly or middle-aged, but they can affect younger people too. Another potential characteristic of this disease that can pinch the nerves is joint space narrowing. A narrowed joint space forces an alteration in normal joint movement which can cause the affected spinal joints to impinge on nerves.
Tumors can also pinch cervical spinal nerves. These tumors can be malignant or benign. Much like a bone spur, they take up space and can pinch nearby nerves. This is not a very common cause of pinched nerves.
Neck Traction Can Help Free Pinched Spinal Nerves
Traction pulls and stretches the spinal vertebrae. A pinched nerve is a nerve that is literally pinched, and when this occurs in the neck, it is often pinched by the spinal vertebrae. By pulling and stretching the vertebrae, the pinched nerve can be freed, allowing it to heal and eliminating the associated pain.
It Also Help Relieves Neck Spasms
A big source of neck pain is spasming in the neck, shoulder and upper back muscles. Spasms often cause moderate to severe stiffness and pain. To alleviate these spasms, the muscles have to be stretched out of the spasm.
Neck traction provides the right amount of stretching for the right amount of time to do this. Simply stretching for a minute or two is just not enough, but the several-minute long traction sessions once or twice a day will help to calm that muscle and bring it out of a spasm.
Neck Traction Helps Relieve Tense Muscles
Muscle-related pain can also benefit, as traction can help to relax and loosen muscles that are tense. Neck Traction will give the muscles a really good stretch and this is often all that is needed to release tight muscles related to tension. Once relaxed, the pain generally start to subside.
Maintaining Proper Position Can Be Down with A Neck Traction Device
Traction that provides limited mobility will give support and keep the head and neck in the position that they should be. Keeping the cervical spine in the correct position when it has been injured is critical to healing.
Realignment of an unstable cervical spine is also possible. When the spinal column is out of alignment, there is the risk for further injury and damage. Traction will allow the spine to heal in the correct position. Once the cervical spine is back in the right alignment, the pain and discomfort related to misalignment and instability will also be gone.
You can try a home neck traction device from ChiSoft.
Neck Traction Can be Performed at Home
Today, there are neck traction devices that can be used at home safely and effectively. This will prevent making chiropractic appointments, the cost associated with the appointments, the commute times back and forth to a doctor or chiropractor and the unease of trying to relax in a non-familiar environment. At-home systems can be used when it is convenient and in a relaxing, comfortable environment.