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How Does Traction Help Your Back?

Written By Dr. Golab's Chiropractic & Wellness P.A. on October 13, 2021

Stone Oak Chiropractor Discusses How Does Traction Help Your Back

The essence of chiropractic is to help open up joints and to stretch the spine through traction maneuvers. This helps to free trapped nerves put the spine back into alignment and thus improve function. So how does traction help your back? This is a question we are sometimes asked and we look to help answer this. It applies to the spine in general, but we see patients with low back pain the most.

Low back pain is a condition with many factors. The care of a patient depends on case history, examination findings, and the doctor's training and preferences of treatment. A chiropractor may possibly use lumbar traction in combination with manipulation and joint mobilization for a patient with lumbar disc pathology. Let’s take a look at lumbar traction and some research behind it.

Conditions Traction on Your Back Helps

Lumbar traction is most commonly performed on patients with radicular pain, or pain which is experienced in the leg. This is because of intervertebral disc conditions. Intervertebral disc conditions include: a herniated disc, degenerative conditions (osteoarthritis or stenosis).

Lumbar traction comes with some benefits. These include:

  • increasing the disk space,
  • stretching ligaments,
  • widening the forearm, and
  • encouraging movement of the facet joints.

There is unfortunately no hard and fast rule that state how and when to apply traction. This means it’s all up to each clinician or chiropractor to judge what’s best for the patient. And this is why at Dr Golab's Chiropractic & Massage we examine each patient prior to treatment, taking relevant imaging as required and listening to our patient's complaints. 

Studies into Traction for the Back

Some researchers tackled the job of developing a clinical guideline to identify patients that suffer from lumbar disc herniation their goal was to find the patients who would most likely benefit from mechanical lumbar traction. The researchers applied lumbar traction on over 100 patients over the course of two weeks and measured the benefits by using patient history and physical exam.

Other measures they took were questionnaires which measured pain intensity, function, and psychological parameters. Researchers called those who benefited from the treatment “responders.” 

Of the 100, 24 were considered responders. This is about 23%. From this 23%, researchers used the following features to establish their clinical rules. They have limited lumbar extension, low level fear avoidance beliefs regarding work, no segmental hypomobility in the lumbar spine, short duration of symptoms, and sudden onset of symptoms.

For participants who had at least three out of five of these predictors, the probability of pain and function improvement rose from 23% to 48%. researchers concluded that healthcare providers can use the above predictors to help select patients who will benefit from the lumbar traction.

What We Can Do for Your Back Pain

We at Dr Golab's Chiropractic in Stone Oak offer many services aimed at helping back pain and restoring function. From chiropractic care to massage therapy to cryotherapy, our goal is to help you move towards a pain free life. 

We offer walk in friendly service for chiropractic care while massage therapy and cryotherapy is by appointment only. Insurances are accepted, but feel free to contact us on (210) 764-8888 to verify what your insurance will cover.


Posted In: Chiropractic