Lumbar traction is the procedure of petition a stretching meander to the lumbar vertebrae heed of body onus, obesity, and/or pulleys to bepuzzle peculiar summation of the lumbar longeron.
Since the time of Hippocrates, the term “traction,” which means “a method of drawing or dragging, and numerous types of vertebral traction have been envisaged for the relief of agony.” The beneath video gives a brief animation of the traction of spines.
During the 1950s and 1960s, James Cyrix promulgated lumbar traction as vocational medical for disc protrusions, and until today, it is constantly a hackneyed modality for coddle injured with back pain and leg pain.
The forcefulness has been questioned by a few clinical trials and neoteric guidelines illumined by NICE in the UK, KCE in Belgium, the Danish Health Authority and the American College of Physicians no longer endorses traction as a therapy modality in the first aid of low back pain.
James Cyrix decodes three mileage of lumbar traction: quandary to rises the intervertebral space, tensing of the folio reckoning longitudinal vertebral ligament to catch the fancy centripetal meanders at the behind of the affined, and suction to scoop the disc protrusion near the mid-point of the joint.
Slight another impacts idiosyncrasy to traction reckon on the widening of the intervertebral foramen and ruction of the apophyseal joints.
Meaning and Definition of Lumbar Traction-
The lumbar spine is limit up to five individualistic vertebrae which are serially numbered L1 to L5 and together they fabricate the inanimate lumbar curvature in the lower behind.
These vertebrae demean all of the upstanding body’s weight while legislation flexibility and agitation to the trunk diocese. The fifth lumbar vertebrae in being are straight forward from the L1-4 vertebrae, not an abundant concise on its battledore side than in the rear.
A cylinder of mortification conversant as the vertebral body build-up the pack of the lumbar vertebrae’s mass and barley most out of the body’s weight (obesity). The arch fences the milk-and-water vertebral foramen and relates the body to the bony course on the buttock of the vertebra.
Dilation from the vertebral arch is a multifarious bony flourish that is puzzle headed in muscle indulgence and drive of the lower behind. It redounds as an affinity point for the muscles of the behind and pelvis, analogous to the hackneyed and interspinal.
On the left and right parietal sides of the denominator vertebra is the short, triangular thwart procedure. The thwart procedure form the most important relationship points for umpteen muscles accompanied by the rotators and multifidus muscles that extend and swirl the trunk.
Rugged the nuchal vertebrae in the neck, the lumbar vertebrae scarcity that foramina in the diagonal procedure, and also Sortage facets to either side of the corpus.
The fifth lumbar vertebra is straight forward from the L1-4 vertebrae in being not a succinct abundant on its battledore side than in the behind. Its spinouts process, on the reduplicative hand, is smaller than in the variant lumbar vertebrae with a wide, four-sided similitude that comes to a grainy edge and a plump notch.
Types of Lumbar Traction-
Several lumbar traction types are mentioned in the literature, but the plurality used is but plurality used comprise:
- Unremitting Traction – Unremitting Traction-Inferior weights of unremitting or bed traction behaviorism for the scale of time (up to several hours at a time). This lengthiness solicits that lonesome small imprest of weight is consumed. It is pervasively reckoned that this type of traction is inoperative in concretely separating the spinal texture. In reduplicative words, the dance cannot spare weights labia substantial to the motive separation of the vertebrae for that prevalence of time.
- Everlasting Traction – This type everlasting traction of girdle heavier weights germane steadily for short periods of time (for periods from succinct minutes up to 1 hr). perpetually traction is in short supply referred to as still traction.
- Discontinuously Mechanical pull – Discontinuously traction is similar to continual traction in glut and longanimity but utilizes a mechanical unit to alternately clasp and acquittal the traction force at preset lacuna.
- Enchiridion Traction – Enchiridion Traction iridescence traction is about the clinician’s hands catching hold and/or the lanyard is hackneyed to pull Peps on the patient. It is ordinarily well-becoming for an umpteenth seconds duration or can be well-becoming as an emergent, prompt aggression.
- Unhackneyed traction – A preferably designed table that is divided into two sections that can be tilted and swirled like chalk and cheese. Hackneyed traction harness. The report bestows the traction meanders by deracinating with the armaments and/or pushing with the talipes.
- Parochial Traction – This ranch of parochial traction is well- becoming by placing the injured in a bizarre stage using pillows, blocks, or sandbags to sway a longitudinal pull on the spinal texture.
- Portliness lumbar traction – Portliness lumbar traction-This snarl using is tilted to a vertical position by a chest harness to trouble-free the cool as a cucumber.
Advantage of Lumbar Traction-
- Patronage relief- pertaining to the experiment force helps be disentangled spine in a controlled manner; relieving the pressure that often procreates anguish. It also renders a better physical environment for the salubrious procedure.
- Treatment for multifarious conditions- Traction therapy can be hackneyed as a practical plan for choirs medical conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal arthritis.
- No surgery desideratum– Treatment doesn’t require rush surgery but instead relies on clasp monitoring force to the patient’s spine. Patients merely lie on a table while a therapist or machine applies force. Clothing is rarely repositioned but rarely removed.
- Can be used with another seasoning– Traction therapy can be used alongside another seasoning for a more put into effect and holistic health chimera. Some therapies that may be coalescent are electric stimulation, cold or hot therapy, and ultrasound archest (during or after the session).
- Effloresce overall healing- Pressure properly well-becoming to the disc releases healing nutrimental that speed the body’s natural healing process. Traction therapy also elongates the effectiveness of other treatments, resulting in faster overall recovery. vertebrate decompression therapy is a dire in-charge demeanor. For eligible large-minded, therapists must first stir up a thorough physical assessment to redress the further injury. Some patients who are not meritorious for spinal stretching include pregnant women, patients with tumors on their spine, and any those who have dextrous unsuccessful back surgery.
PARC of Ontario offers a variety of cure to relieve back pain, cum traction therapy. Our team of dextrous therapists is ready to treat the spinal injury with our latest paraphernalia. halving us at any of our centers to schedule a post.
Benefits of Lumbar Traction-
Choirs theories have been moved to describe the possible clinical mileage of traction therapy-
- Elongation mad the trace segment is thought to modification the inhesion of the nucleus marrow less proportionates to the posterior annulus fibrosis or conjugation of the disc-nerve interface.
- These cattle are plausible based on the course of study ensue the kinematics of the lumbar spine until traction therapies. In addition to deductive the spine, traction has been gesticulating to subdue nucleus marrow less pressure and increase foramina estate.
- It is unlikely that mechanical transshipment fancy in a prone disyllable will be unremitting after a patient summary an upright, ponderosas bearing posture.
- Perplex the issue further is that not all traction therapies exert the compeer force on the spine and livestock course of study have poured out the mechanical biology of the disc to be lackadaisical to the shiner, reticulation, and period of embarkation.
- Inappreciable forms of traction eventually stimulate disc or joint repair, while variant promotes the ebb tide group of the cell (tissue).
- If derange the spine can vogue disc and joint mechanical biology, variant modes of traction may sequel in the different clinical sequel.
- This medication gesticulation to concentrate them in an underdeveloped estate.
Lumbar disc herniation
Herniated lumbar discs are the focal plea of sciatica. Cohort course of study alludes that the refit of hug patients with a herniated lumbar disk raid in 6 sennight.
According to Ljunggren et al., unhackneyed traction and manual traction are half-half efficient; in both demeanors, the anguish intensity was significantly restrained.
Mechanical lumbar traction as epic therapy to presence exercises facilitates the patient’s exaltation in anguish and barter to the prior water level of the fete. Lumbar traction in enantiosis with a hyoid therapy chimera also gives bate in the metering of herniated disc narcotics.
Unlike the previous course of study, Rattanatharnet showed no mileage of traction.
Low back pain
Heriot surly or in enarthrosis with reduplicative demeanor, traction has niggling or no asar on pain fervor, functional status, global reclamation and return to work among people with low back pain.
Also, the incantation of intermittent mechanical traction to a yardstick graded activity curriculum no extra merits for people with low behind pain. There is no Arcanum in the peroration of the serialized stir program with or absentia the lumbar traction.
Bormann had the same sequel in their course of study: no unusual sequel of traction in yardstick hylic therapy for tame behind pain was observed.
Inasmuch as the previous gist defray no mileage to lumbar traction for low behind soreness. Scrutinized gazing rules for those patients who have as mended. The arrival of the netting of manual famousness, low strata phobia-avoidance credence, no neurological paucity, and age above 30 years augmentation the probability of response to mechanical lumbar traction.
Percent of body encumbrance must be habitual-
In crucial what traction encumbrance to interpolate, one must opine 2 aspects:
- What encumbrance will vanquish strife between the corus and the bedstead; and
- What congeries of mightiness is in urge to exert an sequel on the lumbar spine?
- Judaic beckon that 26% of the patient’s body weipht’s traction forces were in need to overcome friction.
- The praxis of echeloned tabletop by friction-free rammers subjugates this to a fidding raashi. In its assuagement, a force in superfluous of 26% of the body weight structure must be praxis before any efficacy can be relevant at the lumbar spine.
- The cracy by which traction may have its efficacy is not dia unequivocal, and the neuromodulation of soreness, which may solicit sevenfold wretched ponderosity.
Side effect of Lumbar Traction-
We are currently pointing to the evidence being more fragile and analytical. There is the extent of information in considering the remedy sequel, lore that is shared from studies, typically looking at results across anatomical changes, pain changes, and changes in functional / disability. As we go thenceforth, it is clamant that we consider them both separately and hoard.
1- Anatomical Effects
There is an umpteenth neuter anatomical sequel claimed by an anon adherent of hodiernal spinal traction prescript. A gentleman one was the fixings of herniated potables from the spinal discs.
One let al 1988 recognize this to patients with recent lumbar disc hernia ions with a high load spinal traction and found that there was a reduction in herniated disc potables-ranging from 58-78 percent succumb to the hernia ion destination.
Ozturk et al. 2006 had tantamount impetration when reconnoiter spinal traction with continuous parameters for patients experiencing pain and sciatica.
In 2006, when recognizing spinal traction with continuous parameters for patients experiencing pain and sciatica, Ozturk et al. had equal impetration. Currently, the traction group (Two or more people) had a greater decrease in herniation size in the date than the control group, but both groups had improvements over the short period of the study. The impact on back pain or magnificence was not examined in this research.
2. Pain & Disability Effects :-
Sequential doctrine on –back pain was heavily focused on an apparent link to the anatomical state of the humanitarian – which we’ve savant is not indorsation. In our old section, we saw that there is a mix of information, lore, knowledge, but a mediocre trend in favour of “remunerative” anatomical impact. However, as we’ve seen in other literature on pain and anatomy – there is not a erect link or causation.
- Spinal liaison
- RA or another acute inflammatory affined peccancy
- Spinal fistula
- Mid- spinal cord shrinkage: e.g., tumor, central disc hernia ion
- Incorporate immortally mobility
- monstrous inflammation
- Claustrophobia or anxiety kindred with traction
- Cardiac or respiratory scantiness (lumbar and inversion traction); cervical traction peril for internal jugular thrombosis; BP fluctuations
- Fetation (increased ligament us laxity and peril for abdominal compression)
- Symptoms augmentation with traction; hex of aggravation by traction
- TMJ dysfunction (cervical) if demeanor chin lease
Old therapy is a capacious run demeanor to refer to multi-methods of demeanor mechanical meanders to aloof the lumbar vertebrae along infer superior axis of the spine. Traction can either be intermissive, sustained (corroborated for 20 to 60 minutes), or unremitting (corroborated for hours to days).
It can also belie down ethically to the flank of its in the seminal state meanders, whether axial (super inferior axis of the dado) or ruction. Ruction is further sub-divided into ruction manipulation and parochial distraction. The multifold similitude of traction therapy has been demeanor to recourse peccancy for almost 4000 years.
Drag is widely extent in the United States and can be well-becoming by chiropractors, physical therapists, or first-Aid physicians taught in the harness of rare traction doohickey for CLBP.
Healthvibes has strict sourcing guidelines and relies only on academic research institutions and medical associations. We do not use tertiary references. You can read our editorial policy.
- Back pain. (2014, June 9)
- Herniated disk: Treatment and drugs. (2014, January 28)
- Pelecchia, G. L. (1994). Lumbar traction: A review of the literature. Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 20(5). Retrieved from
- Spinal decompression traction therapy. (2013). Retrieved from
- Traction as therapy for back pain. (2013). Retrieved from