Sharing Observations re PT Neck Traction

ebethc

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Is anyone doing some form of PT neck traction? My guess is "Yes" ... Please share 1) method of PT neck traction (ie, towel/door method - see below; or manual traction by a practitioner, etc.), and, 2) results - good/bad/neutral . Sharing my method/results below..


This is the method that I have been using this week... (PT neck traction using a towel/door) My chiropractor recommended this and demonstrated in her office, and I found this video demo online that provides a good overview/visualization. However, my chiro's method is slightly different, and I think the distinctions are important so I'm listing them here...
  • Lie flat; no pillow under head.
  • Circle in towel should be snug, but not tight. Also, the circle in mine was created w medical tape, not rope, and this guy uses rope to attach the contraption to the door - please use resistance bands instead!
    • Creating the Circle: The medical tape my chiro used is~ 2 inches wide and white. Sturdy, but not as strong as duct tape, although you could use duct tape... To make a circle in the towel. ie, fold the towel lengthwise, then fold it in half (as in the video.) wrap the medical tape around the middle so that the towel has a circle w "bunny ears" on top. The circle my chiro made for me is much snugger than in this video... the bottom of the circle is on the back of my neck, and the top (near the tape) is on my forehead... snug, but not tight.
    • Attach to door by closing door on resistance tubing (knot on the other side of door). She used resistance tubing, which has some stretchy-ness and "give"... I think this is important because she told me to put the thing on (behind neck, knot-side on top of forehead), lying flat on back, then scootch away from the door until there's a GENTLE pull. I don't know how you easily / effectively do this unless you are using a rubber rope w some kind of give...
    • doing this for 5 minutes a day for two weeks until my next appt...
demonstration:


results so far (2 days):
PROS
I do this before bed and sleep REALLY well... it makes me relaxed
decreases pain (shocking, but it's early so who knows)

CONS
I'm REALLY tired this week... I'm not sure if it's because of the traction or not... I've had a virus for 3 mos, and monday was the first day I felt like it was gone, but maybe there is residual fatigue??
 

ebethc

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update: I didn't do the therapy last night before bed b/c I wanted to see if the (extra) fatigue I've been experiencing lately is due in part b/c of the therapy.... really tired today, AND I didn't sleep well last night, so I'm going back to the 5 minute PT therapy again tonight... The temp dropped today and low pressure knocks me out, so I think that the fatigue is due to low pressure, residual virus, less sleep last night (for today)... Not thinking the PT is doing any damage... Always good to be careful, though..
 

valentinelynx

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I don't think the surgeons involved in CCI recommend this type of supine traction. I don't know if this is for a specific reason or not, but both manual cervical traction and over-the-door traction provide distraction pressure directly inline with the spine, while the supine "towel" traction you are using applies traction at an angle. The latter may be more beneficial for problems in the subaxial spine, such as degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy or facet joint pain, but I don' t know for sure. Perhaps someone has discussed this with one of the CCI experts?

Also, you can buy pre-made devices for providing the kind of traction you are using, just like you can buy over-the-door inline traction devices. Here is one of several sold on Amazon.
 

ebethc

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I don't think the surgeons involved in CCI recommend this type of supine traction. I don't know if this is for a specific reason or not, but both manual cervical traction and over-the-door traction provide distraction pressure directly inline with the spine, while the supine "towel" traction you are using applies traction at an angle. The latter may be more beneficial for problems in the subaxial spine, such as degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy or facet joint pain, but I don' t know for sure. Perhaps someone has discussed this with one of the CCI experts?

Also, you can buy pre-made devices for providing the kind of traction you are using, just like you can buy over-the-door inline traction devices. Here is one of several sold on Amazon.
the AMZN traction device that you recommend lifts your head off the ground, and I wonder if that's why surgeons don't recommend it (it creates an angle). The towel method is not lifting my head, and I don't use the pillow (as in the video), so my head is not lifted. I agree that your head should not be lifted or at an angle.

I'm not far into this enough to even know if it works for me, but so far, so good.
 

CFS_for_19_years

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I don't think the surgeons involved in CCI recommend this type of supine traction. I don't know if this is for a specific reason or not, but both manual cervical traction and over-the-door traction provide distraction pressure directly inline with the spine, while the supine "towel" traction you are using applies traction at an angle. The latter may be more beneficial for problems in the subaxial spine, such as degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy or facet joint pain, but I don' t know for sure. Perhaps someone has discussed this with one of the CCI experts?
A long time ago I discussed cervical traction with my chiropractor because he wanted to make sure that massage therapists were doing it right. Here is what he said:
"When pulling back it is essential that the curve in the spine be preserved, so if the therapist is pulling straight back, they need to put a rolled-up towel (4-5 inches wide) underneath the neck. That way the curve in the cervical spine is preserved."

I have an unusual way of getting spinal traction that I haven't heard anyone mention. I do this when my neck is spasming bad. I lie on my bed on my back without a pillow and put on a foam cervical collar with the velcro in the back. I adjust it so it is as tight as it can be without cutting off my ability to swallow. Then I lie there for as long as it takes to relieve the spasm. Sometimes I fall asleep. When that happens by the time I'm awake my neck feels a lot looser and I go back to using a pillow without the cervical collar.

I've used this method for at least 15 years. I've used this is after I've taken vicodin, morphine, flexeril and vaped cannabis and used hot packs. Never fails to work. I don't wear the cervical collar at other times. In case you're wondering about which cervical collar I'm using, it is this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Cervical-Collar-Adjustable-Support-Sleeping/dp/B07Q29R434
 

CFS_for_19_years

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I wanted to add something to my post above: I get the most relief from tight neck muscles when I force my chin into the foam cervical collar for just a second or two, and then release. Sometimes I can feel and hear some soft tissue pop or snap and that always feels good. I will repeat that dozens of times until my neck feels a bit looser or I fall asleep.

I don't know if what I've described is actually traction. It could be that at the moment I'm pressing my chin in I'm getting some traction. My ME/CFS doesn't feel any better afterwards.

My neck got screwed up by a whiplash injury in the 1980's and since I came down with ME/CFS in 1990 I was still getting traction on my neck even in the year 2000. My ME/CFS didn't feel any better after real traction either.

I once tried having 15 chiropractic adjustments per week for 4 weeks to see if I could improve at all. This intense type of treatment was supposedly helping patients with fibromyalgia, which I also have. I had moments where I felt more confident, like a literal weight had been lifted and I didn't have the wired anxiety. There was a time where for a few hours my legs felt normal. I couldn't believe it. I walked around a few extra minutes just to be sure I wasn't imagining things. Then my legs went back to their usual way of feeling painful, especially in the quads.

I don't know how to make sense of what the adjustments did. They were just the ordinary twisting and high velocity movements.
 
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I found a funny little pillow on Amazon. A lot of reviewers were very happy with how it helped with their neck pain, so I ordered one. I ordered it on the slow boat from China so I could get a blue one, because the pink one looks too much like a sex toy... :p The product description and especially the pictures are truly hilarious, reflecting, as best as I can guess, some Chinese notion of female beauty (see below). Overlooking the absurdity of the horrible sexist body shaming over some supposedly hideous feature that I can't even see ("The Neck's Unbeauty"?! "Neck Fat"?!, "Don't Do Lazy Woman"!?! :rofl:), the pillow really does feel good: the bumps apply comforting pressure at the base of the head on either side of the neck and your neck assumes a natural curve as you relax into it. Here's a link to the blue one (it took about 2 weeks to get to me), but if you want to order one for quick delivery, you can get a pink one here (there is more than one seller selling this, so you might find a better price from a different seller).

1566292894735.png
 
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Second star to the right ...
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This sofa still takes the biscuit, though.
OmiGod ...... the biscuit, the box they came in, the store that sold them, the town they were manufactured in, the fields that produced the wheat, the trucks that carried that wheat to the maufactury ....

I'v never SEEN anything so unbelievably ..... words fail me. And that almost never happens.
 
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@valentinelynx
The product description and especially the pictures are truly hilarious, reflecting, as best as I can guess, some Chinese notion of female beauty
You're sooooo right !!! The pillow may be wonderfully soothing and healing and worth its weight in gold, but the prose is absolutely priceless !!!
 
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Hi @ebethc
Hello, I tried this kind of traction. I made one with a good wide and thick scarf. I tied it to my doorknob. Put it low enough. And after 3 minutes head on the headscarf very comfortably, I stopped. But I had a lot of pain after my neck. So I have not tried again since. I found another way to relax my neck. I searched the internet and found myself taught by a chiro. vertebral decompression. The sound of the video is really bad but we see very well how to do the first exercise. This one is fine with me.décompression vertébrale
 
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