How Does Traction Help Back Pain? Lacey Chiropractor Answers

Low back pain comes with many factors and symptoms. The care of a patient with low back pain depends on history, examination findings, and the doctors training and preferences on treatments. A doctor of chiropractic may use lumbar traction as well as manipulation and joint mobilization for a patient who has lumbar disc pathology. Today, we will look at the question of how does traction help back pain and some studies about it.

Lumbar traction is usually performed on patients who have radicular pain, or pain that radiates down the leg. This is because of intervertebral disc conditions. These conditions are as follows: a herniated disc, and or degenerative conditions. Lumbar traction have some benefits.

These are:

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

Unfortunately, there is not a hard or fast rule that states how and when to apply the traction. Consequently, this means it is up to the clinician to judge what is going to be best for the specific patient. This is why Dr David Warwick has considerable qualifications, knowledge and expertise so as to help make the best judgement possible for patients.

Studies in Back Traction

Researchers decided to figure out a clinical guideline to help identify patients that suffer from lumbar disc herniation. Their goal was to find the patients who would most likely benefit from mechanical lumbar traction. Researchers took 100 patients and applied lumbar traction to them over the course of two weeks. They measure the benefits by using patient history, a physical exam, and using questionnaires that measured pain intensity, function, and psychological parameters. Researchers called the patients who benefited from lumbar traction “responders.”

Of these 100 patients, they consider 24 responders. This equates to about 23%. From this 23%, researchers used these features to establish their clinical rules: 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 those who had at least three out of five of the predictors, the probability of pain and function improvement rows from 23% to 48%. It has been concluded that healthcare providers can use these five predictors to help select patients who will benefit from lumbar traction.

A recent study done in 2020 found that combining mobilization and spinal manipulation shows better outcomes than just one or the other. Chiropractors will use both treatments together and maybe even more to heal the whole body rather than just focusing on one area. Nonsurgical options like those listed above have been proven to show more improvement than surgical procedures.

How We Help Patients with Back Pain

At Warwick Massage and Chiropractic we help patients with back pain. Through many chiropractic care techniques such as the Palmer Methods Technique, Advanced Activator Methods, the Zone Technique and more to massage therapy and cold laser therapy. We have the means to help you out of pain the best way based on your needs.

We operate a walk in friendly practice for chiropractic (although appointments can be made) and by appointment only for massage.

Insurances are accepted as well, but call to check your specific coverage.

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