Underwater Traction

Balneotherapy, Hydrotherapy

What is underwater traction

Traction in water uses the weight of the body, which is suspended by the neck (and below the armpits if necessary), in a special pool of thermal mineral water. Sometimes additional weights are added around the waist, hips or feet to increase the stretching effect. The mechanical force (bodyweight) induces the stretching of the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, sinews, joint capsules), with a constant and continuous pulling force during the traction. The treatment is prescribed by a medical doctor, performed by an experienced physiotherapist and lasts around 15 minutes. For a longer lasting effect, the procedure is repeated daily over 2-3 weeks.
 

How underwater traction helps

During treatment, the body is gently stretched out, releasing stiff muscles and spinal connective tissues. Thermal water warms up the body thus relieving the stiffness and increasing the connective tissue elasticity. Sulphur compounds from the mineral water are absorbed through the skin into the body and become incorporated into the connective tissues, leading to their higher elasticity. The synergy of mechanical force, natural chemical compounds and a warm-up results in the relief of painful muscle contractures, joint blockades or nerve compressions and thus in the improved mobility of the backbone and joints.
 

The underwater traction therapy is a passive procedure designed in the 1950s by Dr Károly Moll, a Hungarian rheumatologist. It spread from Hungary to neighbouring Slovakia and is favoured in world-renowned spas like Hévíz and Piešťany. It can be performed in normal lukewarm water as well; the effect is comparable to that of traction in mineral thermal water. The content of the minerals in thermal water makes human bodies float more than in common tap water, therefore somewhat heavier weights are necessary in the mineral water to produce a comparable traction force. 

Advisable for:

Degenerative diseases of the spinal discs and vertebrae, upper/lower backache or headache due to nerve root compression, Scheuermann’s disease, Bechterew’s disease (states I–II), contracture of the hip and knee joints.

Not advisable for:

Acute inflammation of nerve roots, unstable spine, previous spine operations, any joint implants in the knees or hips or screws in the backbone and legs, inflammatory contractions of the joints of the hip and knee; severe varicose veins in the legs, leg ulcers, ischemic heart disease, angina pectoris, hypertension, hyperthyreosis, bronchial asthma, severe lung emphysema, any tumour, TBC, incapacitation, infectious diseases, fever, acute inflammation, epilepsy, acute thrombosis, incontinence, pregnancy, unstable diabetes, psychosis, alcohol or drug abuse

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