Traction, otherwise known as “spinal decompression therapy”, addresses discogenic and referred pain.
A specific force predetermined by your physiotherapist gently separates the bones of the lower back or neck creating a negative pressure within the disc that assists any extruded or herniated material to migrate back into the disc space. This relieves the pressure on the outer fibers of the disc and ultimately reduces any “bulge” that may be compressing or irritating the nerve root.
With repeated treatments over a period of time this allows for the outer fibers to heal and hold the gel-like material back in the center of the disc. Additionally, this negative pressure forces nutrients and fluid into the disc to assist with rehydration and healing of the disc. By altering the position of the traction pull and the height of the table we may also localize the traction force to a particular segment of the spine and in a specific direction.
Treatments are painless. In fact some individuals get immediate relief from their pain once decompression takes place. In addition to traction, it is important that you comply with the specific home exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist to minimize the stresses on the disc, and partake in an appropriate strengthening and stabilization program when appropriate.