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Salman Farooqi Lecturer IPM&R, KMU

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Presentation on theme: "Salman Farooqi Lecturer IPM&R, KMU"— Presentation transcript:

1 Salman Farooqi Lecturer IPM&R, KMU
Spinal Traction Salman Farooqi Lecturer IPM&R, KMU


3 Traction Process of drawing, or pulling apart, of a body segment

4 Mechanical Traction using a traction machine or ropes/ pulleys to apply a traction force

5 Manual Traction Clinician positions patient and applies traction force to joints of the spine or extremities

6 Effects of Traction: Spine
Encourages movement between each individual spinal segment Amount of movement varies according to… Position of spine, Amount of force, and Length of time the force is applied

7 Effects of Traction: Spine
 pain, paresthesia, or tingling Due to physical separation of vertebral segments thus decreasing pressure on sensitive structures

8 Effects of Traction: Spine
As long as positive physiological effects occur, traction should be continued

9 Effects of Traction: Bone
No immediate effects due to traction May result in increased spinal movement that reverses bone weakness associated with immobilization May assist with increasing or maintaining bone density

10 Effects of Traction: Discs
Normal disc in non-compressed position Internal pressure (indicated by arrows) is exerted equally in all directions Internal annular fibers contain nuclear materials

11 Effects of Traction: Discs
In an injured disc, sitting or standing compresses the disc causing the nucleus to become flatter Pressure in this instance still remains relatively equal in all directions

12 Effects of Traction: Discs
In an injured disk, movement in weight-bearing causes a horizontal shift in nuclear material

13 Effects of Traction: Discs
Herniation of the nuclear material occurs if the annular wall becomes weak Herniation may possibly put pressure on sensitive structures in the area

14 Effects of Traction: Discs
When placed under traction, intervertebral space expands thereby decreasing pressure on the disk Taut annular fibers create a centripetally directed force Decreases herniation and pressure on sensitive structures in the area

15 Effects of Traction: Articular Facet Joints
Facet joints are separated releasing impinged structures Dramatic reduction in symptoms Joint separation decompresses articular cartilage allowing synovial fluid exchange to nourish cartilage Decreases rate of degenerative changes

16 Effects of Traction: Articular Facet Joints
Increased proprioception from facet joint structures provide sensation of pain relief

17 Effects of Traction: Muscles
Vertebral muscles can be stretched Initial stretch should come from body positioning Stretch lengthens tight muscle Allows for better muscular blood flow

18 Effects of Traction: Muscles
Activates muscle proprioceptors providing sensation of pain relief Gate Control Theory

19 Effects of Traction: Nerves
Focus of most traction treatments Pressure on nerves or nerve roots often associated with spinal pain

20 Effects of Traction: Nerves
Unrelieved pressure on a nerve will cause Slowing, eventual loss of impulse conduction Motor weakness, numbness, and loss of reflex Pain, tenderness, and muscular spasm

21 Traction Treatment Techniques
Lumbar Positional Traction Inversion traction Manual Lumbar Traction Level-specific Unilateral leg pull

22 Traction Treatment Techniques
Mechanical Lumbar Traction Manual Cervical Traction Mechanical Cervical Traction

23 Side-lying Position: Unilateral Foramen Opening
Lateral Herniation Patient leaning away from painful side Lie painful side up Lie on right side over blanket roll

24 Side-lying Position: Unilateral Foramen Opening
Lateral Herniation Patient leaning away from painful side Lie painful side up Lie on over blanket roll Medial Herniation Patient leaning toward painful side Lie painful side down Lie over blanket roll

25 Side-lying Position: Unilateral Foramen Opening
Side-lying with a blanket roll between iliac crest and rib cage Increases intervertebral foramen size

26 Side-lying Position: Unilateral Foramen Opening
Maximum opening of intervertebral foramen Achieved by flexing upper hip and knee and rotating shoulders in opposite directions Maximum opening of left side

27 Supine Position: Bilateral Foramen Opening
Knees to chest position increases size of lumbar intervertebral foramen bilaterally Separation of spinous processes


29 Inversion Traction Hang upside down
Lengthens spinal column due to stretch provided by weight of trunk Repeat inversion times Observe for signs of vertigo, dizziness, or nausea

30 Manual Lumbar Traction
Used prior to mechanical traction Helps determine degree of lumbar flexion, extension, or side-bending that is most comfortable Most comfortable position is usually best therapeutic position

31 Level-Specific Manual Traction
Position patient for maximum effect at a specific spinal level Lumbar spine flexed using upper leg as lever Palpate interspinous space

32 Level-Specific Manual Traction
Place chest against ASIS and upper hip Lean toward patient’s feet Use enough force to cause a palpable separation of the spinous processes at desired level

33 Unilateral Leg Pull Manual Traction
Sacroiliac problems strap is placed through groin and secured to table Hold ankle and move hip into 30o flexion and 15o abduction Apply steady traction force

34 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Equipment
Use split table to eliminate friction between body segments Non-slip traction harness stabilizes trunk

35 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Setup
Pelvic harness Applied while standing Contact pads and upper belt placed at, or just above, iliac crest Rib pads Positioned over lower rib cage

36 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Body Positioning
Neutral spinal position Allows for largest intervertebral foramen opening before traction is applied Usually position of choice whether prone or supine

37 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Body Positioning
Flexion Increases posterior opening Puts pressure on disk nucleus to move posterior Other soft tissue may also close foramen opening

38 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Body Positioning
Extension Closes foramen because bony arches come closer together

39 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Body Positioning
Prone position Used with normal to slightly flattened lumbar lordosis Best for disk protrusions Place pillows under abdomen

40 Mechanical Lumbar Traction: Body Positioning
Supine position Produces posterior intervertebral separation Optimal at 90o hip flexion Scoliosis, Unilateral joint dysfunction, or Unilateral lumbar muscle spasm

41 Traction Force No lumbar vertebral separation will occur with traction forces less than 1/4 of body weight Effective traction force ranges between 65 and 200 pounds Traction force recommended = 1/2 body weight

42 Intermittent vs. Sustained Traction
Intermittent Traction Effective for posterior intervertebral separation Sustained Traction Recommended for disk protrusion and rupture

43 Progressive and Regressive Steps
Progressive mode Increases traction force in a pre-selected number of steps Allows slow accommodation to traction Regressive mode Decreases traction force in a pre-selected number of steps Patient comfort is primary consideration!

44 Manual Cervical Traction
Stretches muscles and joint structures Enlarges intervertebral spaces and foramen Creates centripetally directed forces on disk and surrounding soft tissue

45 Manual Cervical Traction
Mobilizes vertebral joints Increases joint proprioception Relieves compressive effects of normal posture Improves arterial, venous, and lymphatic flow

46 Manual Cervical Traction
Variety of head and neck positions Hand should cradle neck contacting one mastoid process Other hand on chin Gentle pull, < 20 pounds Intermittent pull, sec Treatment time, min

47 Mechanical Cervical Traction
Supine Neck flexed o Traction harness pulls on occiput Intermittent pull > 20 pounds Minimum of 7 seconds Adequate rest time for recovery Treatment time, min .

48 Mechanical Cervical Traction
Wall-mounted device Inexpensive Static traction most easily employed Use weight plates, sand bags, or water bags Sitting or prone Gentle pull, pounds Treatment time, min

49 Indications for Spinal Traction
Nerve root impingement Disk herniation Spondylolisthesis Narrowing within intervertebral foramen Degenerative joint diseases Subacute pain Joint hypomobility Discogenic pain Muscle spasm or guarding Muscle strain Spinal ligament or capsular contractures Improvement in arterial, venous, and lymphatic flow

50 Contraindications for Spinal Traction
Acute sprains or strains Acute inflammation Fractures Vertebral joint instability Any condition in which movement exacerbates existing problem Bone diseases Osteoporosis Infections in bones or joints Vascular conditions Pregnant females Cardiac or pulmonary problems


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