Manual neck traction

Neck traction is a manual therapy of an osteopathic nature and consists of gentle traction and tension release; it is used in patients with joint pain and muscle contractures.
This technique is mainly used in the neck region to treat arthrosis, muscle and connective tissue shortening, cervicobrachialgia, etc.
It is beneficial for the joints because the blood circulation and nutrient supply of the cartilage are improved.

It helps the muscles to treat shortened soft tissue structures and painful muscle contracures.

How is it executed?

Traction occurs in three phases: traction, tension hold, and release.
The first phase consists of a gentle and even pulling that must not stretch the tissue structures beyond their natural elasticity.
If this limit is exceeded, contractures or muscle spasms can occur, which would be counterproductive.

The traction of the cervical spine must be held for about 30 seconds, the therapist may be able to extend this period if the patient’s complaints are related to the muscles.
This phase is essential for relaxing the muscles.

The third phase of the technique consists of releasing the voltage; dissolution must be very slow to promote blood circulation and nutrient supply to the cartilage; it is the most important phase in osteoarthritis and joint degeneration.
It is also useful for loosening the connective tissue fascia, which is present throughout the body; this is fundamental, because it is estimated that about 70% of the body volume consists of connective tissue.
Depending on the inclination of the head and neck, traction can be concentrated on the first two cervical vertebrae (C1 and C2) or on the lower cervical vertebrae (C5-C6 and C7).
If a greater tensile force is to be exerted on the posterior intervertebral joints, the head must be tilted or rotated in the opposite direction.
Manual neck traction can also benefit the back, in some cases pain and movement restrictions can be eliminated in patients with lumbalgia or dorsalgia.

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