What is traction
Traction means pulling or stretching. It is a passive procedure that uses a mechanical force to induce the stretching of the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, sinews, joint capsules). In dry traction, the physiotherapist can position the client (by hand, belts or sand bags) specifically to target and/or isolate the joint or part of the body that needs attention. Mechanical traction is carried out using a bed on which the angle can be adjusted, and weights fastened by the hips or ankles exploit the effects of gravity. In some places, the treatment is carried out on electronic traction beds. Generally, the procedure lasts 20 minutes. The doctor specifies the type, intensity and location of the traction.
How traction helps
Traction is generally used to relieve back pain in the area of the upper or lower spine. It is a traditional therapy in the case of acute disc herniation. Thanks to pulling the vertebrae apart, the space between them is enlarged allowing the prolapsed disc to regain its physiological position in the centre. So the pressure on adjacent nerves is reduced and the pain may subside. Hip traction can also relieve the pain in arthrosis of the hips.