Skip to Main Content

++

Following completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

++

  • Analyze the physical effects and therapeutic value of traction on bone, muscle, ligaments, joint structures, nerve, blood vessels, and intervertebral disks.
  • Evaluate the clinical advantages of using positional lumbar traction and inversion traction.
  • Describe the clinical applications for using manual lumbar traction techniques including level-specific manual traction and unilateral leg pull manual traction.
  • Explain the setup procedures and treatment parameter considerations for using mechanical lumbar traction.
  • Articulate the advantages of using a manual traction technique of the cervical spine.
  • Demonstrate the setup procedure for mechanical traction techniques for the cervical spine.

++

Traction has been used since ancient times in the treatment of painful spinal conditions. Traction can be defined as a drawing tension applied to a body segment.1,2 In the clinical setting, traction may be performed mechanically, using a traction machine or ropes and pulleys to apply a traction force, or it may be performed manually by a clinician who understands the appropriate positions and intensities of the force being applied to the joints of the spine or the extremities. Some of the concepts of traction discussed in this chapter are generalizable to the treatment of the extremities; however, this discussion has been aimed specifically at cervical and lumbar spinal traction.

++

Effects on Spinal Movement

++

Traction encourages movement of the spine both overall and between each individual spinal segment.3 Changes in overall spinal length and the amount of separation or space between each vertebra have been shown in studies of both the lumbar and the cervical spine (Figure 14–1).413

++
Figure 14–1.
Graphic Jump Location

(a) Spine in normal resting position. (b) Spine under traction load with overall increase in length and overall increased separation between each vertebra.

++

The amount of movement varies according to the position of the spine, the amount of force, and the length of time the force is applied. Separations of 1–2 mm per intervertebral space have been reported. This change is very transient, and the spine quickly returns to the previous intervertebral space relationships when traction is released and the erect posture is assumed.11,1417 Decreases in pain, paresthesia, or tingling while traction is applied may be caused by the physical separation of the vertebral segments and the resultant decrease in pressure on sensitive structures. If these changes occur while the patient is being treated with traction, the prognosis for the patient is good and traction should be continued as part of the treatment plan.3,10,18 Any lasting therapeutic changes must be assumed to occur from adjustments or adaptations of the structures around the vertebrae in response to the traction.

++

Effects on Bone

++

Bone changes, according to Wolff's ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.

Ok

Create a Free MyAccess Profile

* Required Fields

Note: If you have registered for a MyAccess profile on any of the Access sites, you can use the same MyAccess login credentials across all sites.

Passwords must be between 6 and 40 characters long (no whitespace), cannot contain characters #, &, and must contain:
  • at least one lowercase letter
  • at least one uppercase letter
  • at least one digit

Benefits of a MyAccess Profile:

  • Remote access to the site off-campus on any device
  • Notification of new content via custom alerts
  • Bookmark your favorite content such as chapters, figures, tables, videos, cases and more
  • Save and download images to PowerPoint
  • Self-Assessment quizzes saved for quick review
  • Custom Curriculum access for both instructors and learners

Subscription Options

AccessPhysiotherapy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPhysiotherapy content and resources including interactive NPTE review, more than 500 videos, Anatomy & Physiology Revealed, 20+ leading textbooks, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPhysiotherapy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.