How Can Spinal Traction Help Treat Back Pain

Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS), Physiotherapist, discuss spinal traction and back pain treatment.

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Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS), Physiotherapist, discuss spinal traction and back pain treatment.
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Featuring Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS)
Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic Vancouver , BC
Duration: 3 minutes, 6 seconds

Spinal traction is a physiotherapy treatment technique that applies a longitudinal stretch to the reachable joints and soft tissues, and it’s used commonly on the cervical spine and the lumbar spine, and also the thoracic spine by physiotherapists.

So spinal traction is often used when there’s a spinal injury or there’s pain in spine or pain down the arms from, or the legs from nerve injuries. There are two ways that traction may be applied. First one is by physiotherapists using their hands, so that’s manual traction, and it tends to be very specific. Maybe a shorter duration of traction.

The second way that traction may be applied is through a decompression machine, where the patient lies on a machine and the traction is applied at a relatively low grade and weight but for a longer duration, up to about 30 minutes even.

Spinal traction has several effects on the spine. It can obviously decompress the spine and the reachable structures, such as the discs and the reachable joints, and therefore decrease irritation on the nerves by increasing the space in the, the, the spine where the nerves exit. It can also decrease muscle spasm, increase blood flow, and decrease sensitivity and pain in the spine.

The conditions that can often be helped are disc injuries, where there are nerve injuries or nerve pain down the arms and legs. It can help in advanced degenerative changes, such as stenosis. And it can help in just simply stiffness in the spine created by the joints from things such as sitting too long at the desk or traveling or lifting heavy objects.

So for a person that spinal traction might be helpful for, the first step is to see a physiotherapist to assess the condition and assign some symptoms and to eliminate any risks to the patient.

And when the patient receives spinal traction, there are some things that can happen after traction, such as post-traction soreness, which is quite normal. And, but generally it should be quite comfortable.

Traction can be used over time. Usually it’s over several weeks, two to three times a week, where the patient comes in and receives either by the physiotherapist or by machine, and the results are generally progressive, and people feel better as treatment goes on. Not every condition has a certain number of treatments a week. It’s dependent on the patient and the signs and symptoms of the patient.

You want to bring down your pain and any discomfort in your back and legs before continuing with exercise therapy because the muscles will strengthen and respond better to exercise after the pain and sensitivity has come down.

If people have more questions about spinal traction or if they think that it might help them, they should consult their physician just to rule out any risks and to see a physiotherapist to rule out any risks and assess them properly before applying traction.

For more information visit Mr. Carman Wong, BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG (IMS)
Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic Vancouver , BC

Presenter: Mr. Carman Wong, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.