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Traction: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Back pain that occurs because of certain disorders that affect the back or spine can be categorised as compressive and/or mechanical. A compressive pain is mainly because of a compressed nerve root like that in Sciatica and a mechanical pain roots from an injury affecting muscles, ligaments, discs and joints. Traction is the most common treatment for skeletal, muscle and spinal pain. It is the procedure of applying a typical force, manually or mechanically, to a particular spinal segment to relieve pressure on the neuro-musculoskeletal system and the spine. The procedure can be done also at home but prior to that, it must be practised in a safe and monitored environment like that of a physiotherapists’. The traction is mostly used to treat sciatica, pinched nerves, herniated discs, degenerative disc diseases and other spinal conditions. The manual or mechanical force can be chosen depending upon the force that would be required for a particular condition. Traction is helpful in reducing the persistent pressure on the skeleton and certain muscles on the back due to any injury or disease or even from daily activities. A mechanical traction is applied using a traction table and the procedure is called auto-traction. Every patient must be evaluated for the particular type of therapy that they require based on the severity of their pain. Based on the evaluation the therapist would decide the traction type to be applied, the weight of the distraction to be used and the treatment duration. As the severe back pain causes patient to be more sedentary and restricts his activities, the motive of traction must be to make the patient more functional, without, of course, causing any further pain or injury. So, the treatment is started initially with using light weight during the distraction which is increased gradually.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment actually involves stretching the spine that takes the pressure off from the compressed discs in case of spinal traction. Spinal traction also called cervical traction is relieves the pressure on the nerve roots of the spine. In manual traction, a gentle traction or tension and pressure is administered on the head and limbs of the patient to give a pull on the skeleton and muscles. Also, sometimes the patient’s own weight can be used to apply an additional traction called inversion therapy. A mechanical traction with the help of a traction table that consists of several tools and is controlled with computer is used to provide a complex spinal traction to the required patient. These traction tables administer intermittent and continuous tension with a combination of massage, heat and vibration. Mechanical traction has been proved beneficial in some cases over manual traction because it can be used at home also with appropriate traction equipment and proper training from the doctor. So, in this type of traction method, the patient is made to wear a harness that has two rings that supports the patient. In auto-traction, the patient himself applies a traction weight by either pushing with the feet or by pulling with the arms.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The treatment can be given to patients with sciatica, slipped discs, degenerative disc diseases, pinched nerves, facet disease, herniated discs, bone spurs, bulged or protruded discs, spinal arthritis, spondylosis and foramina stenosis.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Patients who have certain complications like tumour in the spine, osteoporosis, cervical rheumatoid arthritis or an infection, or pregnant women, people with hernia and cardiovascular diseases are not eligible for the traction treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Although there aren’t any long term risks associated with spinal traction but certain short term side effects may occur like muscle spasms and pain which could be worse than the one before receiving traction. Some patients may experience a shooting pain down the limbs after a traction treatment. Everybody with a severe back ache cannot opt for traction treatment because of the side effects that are caused after the treatment. So, it is the physician who has to decide whether such a treatment is required by a patient or not. The stretch during the traction can cause these side effects and are normally expected by the physician.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Traction therapy significantly improves the patient’s movement and activities. Even then, after the therapy, it is advisable to carry on with light exercise and walking which should be continued throughout their life. There is normally no such restrictions in food intake since only includes the treatment of the structure. In cases where the patients acquire side effects like excess pain after or during the therapy must not panic as the pain subsides on its own or may be reduced with the help of a pain killer.

How long does it take to recover?

Patients may require just two sessions of therapy to be beneficial but in case the pain progresses, 6-10 sessions would be sufficient to heal it completely, but some patients may require therapy all through their life.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of traction therapy can start from somewhere around Rs. 300 and can go upto Rs. 2000 depending upon the severity of the pain and the price includes consultation and the therapy as well.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results are permanent in a few cases but in other it may not be and the patient may require therapy throughout their life.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Usually there is no such alternative to the traction treatment because its severityis the factor that draws in treatment for the pain and other related conditions. but, in some cases it may be managed with regular exercises and yogasanas.

Safety: Treatment Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 300 to Rs. 2000

Popular Health Tips

Lower Back Pain - Do I Need Physical Therapy?

Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Lower Back Pain - Do I Need Physical Therapy?

Lower back pain is fast becoming an epidemic not just among elderly, but across all age groups. Primary causes of back pain are quite a few including lumbar hernia, disc degenerative disease (DDD), spondylosis etc., but the symptoms are usually the same excruciating pain in the lower region of the spine, followed by stiffness. Since back pain is caused due to a number of spinal problems, it manifests differently in different patients. The pain may be dull, burning or sharp. It could also be felt at a single point or over a broad area and could be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness or even shooting pain in one or both legs.

Back pain can also be differentiated according to time period:

  1. Acute: Pain lasts for less than three months.
  2. Recurrent: Acute symptoms reoccur over time.
  3. Chronic: Pain lasts longer than three months.

Sometimes symptoms resolve on their own, but in many cases conservative treatment, such as physiotherapy, which often work better than surgery, becomes essential. Alternate therapies like surgery, acupressure, acupuncture as well as yoga and Ayurveda also help.

Physiotherapy - Exercises that work
Since the reason for low back pain is not always same, a patient’s treatment too should be tailored for his specific symptoms and condition. This is what the physiotherapist will do design an exercise plan based on the patient’s specific problem and its cause.

Physiotherapy treatments may include:

  1. Manual therapy, which includes direct spinal manipulation aimed at improving the mobility of joints and soft tissues
  2. Strengthening and flexibility exercises
  3. Education about what do and what not to do
  4. Training for proper sleeping positions, lifting, bending, and sitting as well as for working at home and at work
  5. Use of heat/cold treatments or electrical stimulation to help relieve pain

Physiotherapy exercises help support the back and strengthen muscles so that the spine is cushioned properly. This is why physiotherapy is relevant as a treatment for backache. Treatments like traction help in lengthening the spine and relieving compression of nerves that cause sciatica, radiating pain into legs largely due to lumbar herniation. If back pain is extreme, a patient will require physical therapy along with medication, which will help in managing pain and bringing inflammation down. But in the long term, being physically active, going for walks, sitting properly and maintaining a good posture will help the most. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.

3793 people found this helpful


MCH Neuro Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Agra

Patients who continue with the recommended exercises had significantly lower disability scores than those who did not continue with the exercises and were put on traction. Pain and global improvement were also better in the exercise group. In conclusion, no specific effect of traction on standard physical therapy was observed in most of study groups. We suggest focusing on back education and exercise therapy in the management of patients suffering from this chronic condition.

3 people found this helpful

Raw Foods - 7 Reasons One Must Eat Them!

BSC, Diploma in Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Raw Foods - 7 Reasons One Must Eat Them!

The raw food diet has gained traction over the last few years and a growing number of people are trying this diet. The raw food diet has great fitness benefits as it includes eating unprocessed, unfrozen food. The raw food consumed as part of this diet is never exposed to a temperature greater than 115 degrees. While the diet requires a great amount of motivation to continue, it yields great results over the long term.

Here is a list of benefits that could be obtained from consuming raw foods:

  1. Increase in the consumption of fruit: The whole raw food regime consists of consuming lots of fruits. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and a lot of vital nutrients that are essential for the body. It keeps the body energized, helps in digestion, replenishes the body and controls the appetite. Being rich in fiber, fruits can help in weight loss and regularize bowel movement.
  2. Increase the consumption of vegetables: Vegetables provide low protein and loads of minerals to the diet. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, carrots, beans etc. can aid muscle growth and repair. Raw food in the form of vegetables can ensure adequate nutrients for the body.
  3. Balancing nutrition: Contrary to common belief, the raw food diet has the exact quantity of carbohydrate, protein, and fat that accounts for a healthy and balanced diet. There are ample choices available to balance the nutrition in each category. Raw vegetables can make the body feel light and clean.
  4. Simple carbohydrates: The raw diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods can be easily broken down and digested by the body. This helps the digestive system to work effortlessly. Consumption of processed foods, on the other hand, takes a lot of effort by the body to break down into simpler particles.
  5. Good for heart: The raw food diet is extremely beneficial for the heart. Owing to its low-sodium, low-cholesterol content, raw food can reduce the risk of a person contracting complicated cardiovascular diseases. It also allows the heart to pump normally and spread oxygen equally to every part of the body.
  6. Retain vitamins: Most food items lose their vitamins once they are heated, frozen or cooked. Raw food, on the other hand, can keep the vitamin content intact and deliver the exact quantity of vitamins to the body.
  7. Don't have to measure calories: This is perhaps the best part of the raw food diet. As long as the diet is raw, a person can have as much food as he wants. Calorie counting is something that one need not worry about when it comes to the raw food diet. Furthermore, the body can easily digest it too.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6829 people found this helpful

How Can Physiotherapy Help Alleviate Cervical Spondylitis Pain?

Physiotherapist, Noida
How Can Physiotherapy Help Alleviate Cervical Spondylitis Pain?

The human body is so amazing yet sometimes, it is delicate. The condition of cervical spondylitis is one of the examples of this being the case. It is also known as cervical disc disease and is reputed to cause a pretty large amount of pain! That being said, it is not as if this pain cannot be reduced. After all, physiotherapy can make almost any situation better and this is pretty much the case with cervical spondylitis, as well!

  • Neck traction happens to be one of the popular methods prescribed by physiotherapy to help people who are suffering from cervical spondylitis pain. What is done in this process is that the neck is extended but at a very slow rate. While this may not seem like much itself, why this helps is that it goes a pretty long way in taking a lot of pressure off the discs of the spine. While it is true that neck traction is a thing which can be performed at home, it is very important to check with a professional physiotherapist to make sure that the technique that one is practicing is faultless so as to make sure that any painful accidents are not allowed to take place and make the situation worse than it already is!
  • Physiotherapy is all about engaging in activities which help make the condition better. So, when a person has cervical spondylitis pain, the therapist will spend some time with him or her so that the neck can be slowly adjusted and this will help the range of motion of the person’s neck improve by quite a large margin.
  • There are quite a few other ways to go about relieving the pain caused by cervical spondylitis by making use of physiotherapy. For example, deep tissue massage does have a large number of fans who swear by it. This is also the case when it comes to electrical stimulation. As a matter of fact, both of these are quite popular as a means to get the patient in the right condition for healing exercises to have their full effect.
  • After all the effort which is put in by the person by the way of exercise, it can be said to be important that he or she makes use of a cervical pillow, which is more commonly known as a neck pillow and a cervical collar, which can help the process of realignment. With correct physiotherapy, cervical spondylitis pain will soon be history!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

7043 people found this helpful

Physiotherapy For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy
Physiotherapist, Palwal
Physiotherapy For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the hand caused by pressure on your median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Symptoms include numbness, pins and needles, and pain (particularly at night). Anything that causes swelling inside the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, including repetitive hand movements, pregnancy and arthritis.

Cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms begin when the pressure inside the tunnel becomes too high. This results in your median nerve becoming compressed as it passes through the small tunnel. 

The carpal tunnel pressure increase occurs when either of two things happens:

  1. The tunnel space decreases, such as when the wrist swells eg after a traumatic injury, partial subluxation of the carpal bones or fracture or tenosynovitis.
  2. When the contents of the tunnel (median nerve, blood vessels and tendons) enlarge. 
  3. Both of these situations increase the pressure on the nerve, leading to the carpal tunnel symptoms.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) sufferers will usually experience the following symptoms in their hand or fingers:

  1. hand pain or aching
  2. pins and needles
  3. numbness esp at night of with wrist flexing
  4. burning
  5. weakness or cramping
  6. perceived swelling

The symptoms are usually worse at night and your grip will weaken as the condition progresses. Eventually you will notice muscle atrophy of the thenar (thumb) muscles and loss of hand function or clumsiness. If this sounds like you, suspect carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical Therapy Treatment

  1. Gliding Exercises: Moving your fingers in a specified pattern of exercises may help your tendons and nerves glide more smoothly through your carpal tunnel. While there’s some evidence that gliding exercises can help relieve symptoms when used alone, these exercises appear to work better in combination with other treatments -such as splinting.
  2. Graston Technique/Manual Therapy: The Graston Technique incorporates a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively detect and treat scar tissue and restrictions that effect normal function. Manual therapy techniques such as myofascial release or Active Release Technique are hands-on techniques that release tight tendons and musculature.
  3. Ultrasound: Deep, pulsed ultrasound directed at the carpal tunnel can reduce pain and numbness, and improve hand strength. Continuous superficial ultrasound doesn’t help.
  4. Traction: Some people obtain relief from carpal tunnel symptoms by using a hand traction device, called C-Trac. You might try this device, which can be purchased for home use, if other conservative treatment options have failed.
  5. Splints: Splints (braces) are the most commonly used nonsurgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Splints that immobilize the wrist in a neutral (unbent) position are most likely to relieve discomfort. An unbent wrist maximizes the size of the carpal tunnel, which reduces pressure on the median nerve, relieving your symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.
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Popular Questions & Answers

My mother, age 60, is suffering from lumber spondylosis. Should she go for traction to relieve the pain. Or traction can worsen the situation. Kindly advice?

MS - General Surgery, MBBS, MCh - Neuro Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Hyderabad
Without an MRI to rule out nerve compression I would not advise traction. Traction works for muscle strains and helps by relieving that spasm. The treatment for spondylosis is back strengthening exercises.
3 people found this helpful

Is there any other alternative of skin traction my father hip bone dislocated please suggest except surgery.

D.A.M.S( A. M.), D.AC/B.E.M.S
Acupressurist, Mumbai
You should take acupressure treatment and take biochemic Calc flour 200x + mag phos200x 4 tab each thrice a day with warm water and take it 5 day's and consult private online.
1 person found this helpful

I am 35 year old and I am suffering from knee pain from last 3 months as per x ray report there is less gap between joints of knee Orthopaedic Dr. suggest me traction to cure Could it cure naturally or without traction treatment?

MD-PhD, FIPS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ludhiana
Try physiotherapy. Massage. And ayurvrdic treatments. Regularly. Take diet. Try also orthopedians advise.
2 people found this helpful

Hey, I have slightly curved penis and was curious to find the ways to straighten it, thus I started to do some online research. I found that traction devices are very useful to encounter this issue. Unfortunately I could find any place to buy them thus wanted to ask you for some suggestions. Moreover am curious if you have some other suggestion besides traction device.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Delhi
You are suffering from Peynoire's disease. Due to fibrous plaque deposition on that side of penis. Penis bent to left side. But, No worries, its self resolving in most cases. Also you can concern with us, if you want fast result. We provide therapies as well as ayurvedic medicines. You can contact us on We will concern and later on we can deliver medicines.

I have been suffering from lower back pain for over 8 months now. Doctors have advised physiotherapy. However, during physiotherapy the therapist put me on traction which aggravated my problem. What do I do now?

Physiotherapist, Mumbai
Hi I can understand your problem. # relax & stay positive. # take hot and cold fomentation. # learn posture care exercise. # use lumbar support. # take break every 20 minutes. # do strengthening exercise of back and core muscles not all back pains are same. Do share investigation reports if you have any.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Causes and Treatments of Hair Fall
Hi, I am Dr Sunakshi. I am a dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon. Today I will be talking on hairfall.

Hairfall as we all know is a natural phenomenon. Up to hundred strands of hairfall in a day is called normal. But more than 100 strands in a day is alarming. We should start looking for the cause of hairfall.
So, first I will discuss the various causes of hairfall. The most common form that we see in our population is pattern baldness. It is present s male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness.

In the male pattern, the hairline recedes and there is thinning of hair over the front and crown area which is progressive. There is grading for this pattern which progresses from grade 1 to grade 7. We decide the treatment according to the severity of the baldness. So, it starts as thinning of the hair root and it progresses to the stage where the hair root is lost.

In female pattern baldness, there is widening of the hair partition area and there is thinning of hair over the crown area. Male pattern baldness is basically because of the male hormone testosterone which acts at the receptors, DHT present on the hair follicle. For this hormones basically, cause hairfall in the front and crown area. The hair on the back and the side area of the head are resistant to the hormone because they do not have DHT receptor. When the baldness is mild and when there is only thinning, it can be corrected with medical treatment which comes in the form of minoxidil lotions, various supplements which come in the combination of various vitamins and minerals available for hair growth.
The other medical treatments are PRP (platelet rich plasma). It is extracted from the blood of the patient and it is injected into the area of thinning. PRP contains various growth factors which are helpful in hair regrowth. The severe stage of baldness when the hair root diminishes is a stage when hair transplant is done. In this hair is taken, the roots are extracted from the donor area as I mentioned in the back and the side area, the follicles are extracted and then they are implanted in the recipient area.

General care should also be done for hair fall. Like frequent wash is important. If there is a problem of dandruff, anti-dandruff shampoos should be started to control hair fall. Diet should be supplemented. It should be rich basic vitamins and minerals which are present in green leafy vegetables. Proteins should be taken I the fo0rm of eggs and fruits.

Treatment of hair fall are medical and surgical. We decide the treatment according to the severity of the baldness. When the stage is mild and there is thinning over the front and crown area, medical treatment is recommended. Supplements are started which comes in the combination of vitamins and minerals which help in hair regrowth. There are lotions available like monoxidal lotions as a combination of nutrient which help in hair regrowth. Supplements are given which comes in oral tablets which are combination of vitamins and minerals which help in hair regrowth. The other medical treatments are PRP (platelet rich plasma). It is extracted from blood of the patient and it is injected into the area of thinning to combat hair thinning and hair regrowth.

The severe stage of baldness when the hair root diminishes is a stage when hair transplant is done. In this hair is taken, the hair follicles are extracted from the donor area as I mentioned in the back and the side area, the follicle are extracted and then they are implanted on the recipient area.

Other treatments available is general care like care of dandruff, anti-dandruff shampoos for twice a week.Frequent washing should be done in monsoon seasons specially. Diet should be supplemented, junk foods and unhealthy foods should be avoided to decrease the oil secretion which can further enhance the dandruff problem.
Now coming to female pattern hairloss, it is mostly nutritional or hormonal. A thorough check-up has to be done for hormonal causes and for nutritional the most common cause is iron deficiency. There are other causes of hairfall, present in different forms. There are auto-immune disorders like alopecia areata which presents as patchy hairloss over the head. It can be present in other areas of your body like armpits, beard eyebrows. Coming to other causes, there are fungal and bacterial infections which have to be treated to treat hairfall.
These days, trauma that is traction alopecia is seen to be increasing. Tight ponytails and chemical treatments like rebonding causes pressure on the roots especially on the front and side area which causes a pattern of hairloss which is traction alopecia.
There are various myths regarding hairfall. So to clarify, to clear and to treat hairfall you should consultant a dermatologist or a specialist in the field to know the specific cause of hairfall and treat it accordingly.

To connect with me, you can connect me through Lybrate by video call or text messages.

Thank you.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice