Traction refers to the set of mechanical and manual mechanisms for straightening broken bones or relieving pressure on the spine and skeletal system.
There are a number of medically accepted uses for spinal traction, which include:
- mobilization of soft tissues or joints
- decompression of pinched nerve roots
- reduction of herniated intervertebral discs
- postural correction
- management of cervical spine instability
There are various mechanisms and devices that deliver traction in a comfortable manner to the back, neck, and extremities.
The purpose of traction is to regain normal length and alignment of involved bone, to reduce and immobilize a fractured bone, to lessen or eliminate muscle spasms, to relieve pressure on nerves (especially spinal), to prevent or reduce skeletal deformities or muscle contractures.