What is Traction Therapy for the Neck?

what is traction therapy for the neck
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What is traction therapy for the neck?  Neck traction therapy (or cervical traction) is when a device is used to stretch the muscles, reduce pressure, and decompress your neck (cervical spine). Neck traction therapy separates your vertebrae in your neck, creating more space and allowing more blood to flow to the area. 

Neck traction helps you to avoid taking a ton of anti-inflammatory and pain medications.  This is not only good for your body but also for your wallet.  Read below to learn the about traction therapy for the neck.

What Types of Traction Therapy Neck Devices are There? 

There are 5 best traction device for neck designs you can choose from on the market.  The most popular (and proven) ones are below.   Most of these are great, because they’re compact and you can take them anywhere, even on vacation or to work.

  • Pump up: A cervical pump traction device is wrapped around your neck under your chin.  You then pump it up with air to decompress your neck. 
  • Hammock: A neck hammock is hung from your door knob usually.  You lay on the floor and place the hammock part under your head where your head joins your neck.  You relax into it and the weight of your head brings relief as it’s gently pulled. 
  • Collar: This is the typical collar you see car accident victims wearing on TV.  It holds your neck in place as it stretches out the muscles and decompresses the neck and spine. 
  • Cervical Traction Unit: This unit is specially designed to cradle your head and neck in a neutral position.  You then use a pump or a remote to make the unit longer until you feel your neck decompressing. 
  • Over the Door Traction Unit: Like the name says, this unit is attached to your head and then hooked onto your door.  A weight bag filled with water is used to apply weight and decompress your neck. 

What Types of Pain can Neck Traction Relieve? 

Neck traction is amazing. We love it!  Right now, we are using a pump neck traction device to relieve nerve pain, headaches, migraines and tight neck muscles.  It has also helped to relax our necks and shoulders on stressful days.   

I also use my pump neck traction device as a travel pillow!  It holds my neck up perfectly straight when blown up just right (but not enough to do traction).  Saved me on many road trips. 

Neck traction is the best for people that work sitting all day, maybe driving a taxi or truck, or at a computer.   Other folks use neck traction to relieve pinched nerves, herniated or bulging discs, degenerative disk disease, and general neck injuries. 

Does Neck Traction Really Work? 

Yes!  Neck traction provides relief to most people that use it as an alternative therapy.  For most folks, neck traction really helps them to regain mobility and relieve so many problems.  I’m super happy with my device, it stops headaches and helps to relax my neck.   

You should consult with your doctor before using a traction device.  And if you already have one, and are having discomfort when using it, stop and see your doctor. 

How Long does it Take Traction Therapy for the Neck to Work? 

Thankfully, neck traction therapy relief is fast.  Just how fast? Within minutes, you should start to feel relief.  Using neck traction devices should be done a few times per week.  This will make the relief last longer and longer.  You can eventually use your traction device less and less.  


Any aches and pains in your neck, from stiff sore muscles to nerve pain, can benefit from using traction therapy for the neck.  There are a ton of devices out there for every budget that can provide you with relief.