Therapeutic traction of the spine: methods and tactics of the procedures

Not only elderly people suffer from problems with the spine, today various pathological changes are often found in relatively young patients leading an active life.

The traction procedure has proven itself as an effective method of treating the spine. If you combine the technique with the right combination of drugs, you can achieve tremendous success in the treatment of the spine.

What is the procedure?

The traction procedure is also often called autogravity therapy. It helps to avoid deformation changes and relieves pain in the spine.

The traction procedure is carried out using traction of various lengths. As a result, the column of the spine is straightened, the vertebrae fall into place, and muscle spasm is eliminated.

Even in ancient times, the spine was treated with traction using special devices, but over time it became clear that uncontrolled and long-term stretching causes a lot of complications, adversely affecting the vertebral segments. Modern doctors are again using similar procedures to treat vertebral pathologies, since numerous studies in this area have shown that such treatment is extremely necessary for patients with a diseased spine.

It’s just that now autogravity therapy is carried out with subsequent stress in order to provide muscle tissue with tension. This trick allows you to avoid the negative effects of the hood. In order to completely exclude a negative result and complications, the procedure for stretching the spine should be carried out under strict medical supervision.

Traction methods

Today, two methods of spinal traction are generally recognized:

  1. Underwater;
  2. Dry.

Vertebral traction involves traction due to the patient’s own weight or with the help of additional devices and weights. Traction also happens:

  • Horizontal;
  • Vertical.

The essence of all methods is as follows: with the help of long-term or short-term traction, muscle spasm decreases, the vertebrae return to their normal position.

In the process of stretching, some lengthening of the spinal column occurs. Such procedures are carried out, as a rule, in a course of 10-15 procedures.

While the treatment period lasts, the patient must wear a special corset without fail. Sometimes stretching procedures are accompanied by vibration or heating.

Each method is selected in accordance with the course of the pathology and the general condition of the body, since it may happen that the patient is categorically contraindicated to carry out the extraction.


It is necessary to carry out traction of the spinal column only if there are indications for this procedure, which include:

  1. Osteochondrosis – pathological dystrophic changes in the articular-cartilaginous tissues, affecting mainly the intervertebral discs;
  2. Kyphosis is a C -shaped curvature of the upper vertebral region that causes a hump;
  3. Scoliosis is a lateral vertebral curvature with displacement of the vertebral bodies, often accompanied by a rib hump;
  4. Lordosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine, characterized by the direction of the bulge anteriorly;
  5. Radiculitis is a pathological condition of the spinal roots;
  6. Radicular syndrome – occurs against the background of compression of the spinal nerves, is often a characteristic sign of osteochondrosis, dorsopathy and other pathological conditions of the spine;
  7. Post-traumatic back pain or spinal injury.


The traction procedure is not suitable for all patients, since the treatment of the spine by traction has many contraindications:

  • Osteoporosis – increased bone fragility caused by structural abnormalities and decreased bone density;
  • Violation of blood circulation in the spinal cord;
  • Vertebral instability is a pathological condition of the spine in which individual vertebrae are unable to hold and maintain their physiological position;
  • Exacerbation of vertebral pathologies;
  • Kidney stone disease;
  • All kinds of oncological diseases;
  • Pathology of the heart, circulatory and hematopoietic system;
  • The presence of any inflammatory process at the time of the proposed procedure;
  • Spine fractures;
  • A pronounced exacerbation of pain syndrome;
  • Spinal or vertebral tumors;
  • Tuberculous spondylitis is a vertebral pathology of inflammatory origin, in which the vertebral bodies are destroyed;
  • Recently performed laminectomy – an operation to open the spinal canal;
  • When the patient’s weight exceeds 100 kg;
  • When the patient is over 60 years old.

Dry traction

The dry stretching procedure is based on the effect of the patient’s own weight on the spine. The patient is placed obliquely, while the doctor can use any weights as an additional load.

This method refers to manual stretching methods, in which constant monitoring of the course of the procedure is necessary in order not to over-stretch the muscles. Dry stretching of the spine is performed on special tables with a vertical or horizontal arrangement.

One of the popular and safe devices is the Gravitrin table. It is a kind of couch, with a surface identical to the spinal curves. When the patient lies down on such a table, the convex ribs on the surface of the table are distributed over the entire spine and begin to stretch it. Usually, the patient does not feel the pulling force, since only a tenth of the patient’s weight takes part in the stretching process.

For half an hour on the equipment, the spine can stretch by about a centimeter, and in the presence of scoliosis – by as much as 4 cm. This method is the simplest and most effective, which explains its prevalence. To fix the stretched vertebrae, it is necessary to carry out additional physiotherapeutic procedures (gymnastic exercises, massage), otherwise, after a few hours after the stretching, the spine will return to its former position.

No less popular is the Ormed apparatus, which carries out dosed stretching of the spinal column. The device with the help of special massage rollers vibrates the spinal column. “Ormed” has a multicomponent effect, simultaneously carrying out vertebral vibration correction, heating, vibration massage of the paravertebral region and stretching of the spinal column. It turns out that four are included in one procedure at once.

As a result of the procedures on the Ormed apparatus, the height of the intervertebral discs increases and the pressure inside the disc decreases, thereby eliminating the nerve root compression.

The procedures are absolutely safe and highly effective, therefore they are widely used not only in treatment, but also for the prevention of pathologies of the spine.


Underwater traction involves carrying out the procedure under the water column. Such a hood is considered to be more gentle than the dry method.

For the procedure, water is used at 37-38 ° C, it is this temperature that reduces the tone of the striated muscles, which contributes to the expansion of the intervertebral discs.

As a result of underwater stretching in cervical osteochondrosis, pain decreases, blood supply improves, and vascular spasms are eliminated.

An underwater hood, like a dry one, is carried out:

  1. In the vertical way – in the pool using special devices such as circles, handrails and other devices. In the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, a special head holder is used;
  2. In a horizontal way – the patient’s body is placed in the bath on a special sagging shield. This method is more acceptable for the treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis.

Exercises to stretch the spine at home

There are special exercises, by performing which the patient independently stretches his spine, thereby eliminating pinching of the spinal roots.

A set of such exercises must be performed daily. This can be the usual hanging on a horizontal bar, hooked with your feet or hands, using home stretching machines, or performing special gymnastic exercises.

In any case, such actions cannot be carried out without medical approval in order to avoid the possible complications of osteochondrosis.

Performing gymnastics:

  • It is preferable to start with a general stretching of the spinal column, for which, while standing straight, you need to take a deep breath and raise your arms up, as if trying to reach the ceiling. As you exhale, the arms are lowered along the body;
  • Then they begin to stretch the cervical vertebrae:
  1. You need to straighten your shoulders and, as it were, drop your head on them several times, then we do the same actions only forward and backward;
  2. It should be stretched with one and then the other ear, trying to stretch the neck as much as possible;
  • Then the thoracic region is stretched. To do this, they bring the elbows in front of you several times, putting their hands on the belt, bring the shoulder blades together, trying to press the body of the spine with them;
  • Then they move on to the lower back. To do this, perform the “Cat” exercise, arching the back up and down as much as possible. Twisting is also effective.

These are just a few general exercises. The necessary complex should be compiled individually by the attending physician, depending on the localization of osteochondrosis and the degree of its severity.


The average cost of spinal traction procedures depends on the status of the medical institution, the method of traction and the device used:

  • Underwater traction – 700-2500 rubles;
  • Dry stretching – 500-2000 rubles.



After another osteochondrosis exacerbation, when even strong medications stopped helping, the doctor prescribed me a course of procedures using the Ormed apparatus. Outwardly, the design looks creepy, but it helps perfectly with vertebral pathologies. You need to lie on the couch, they put a bandage on you and begin to stretch. In addition to stretching, the device simultaneously performs massage, and the couch itself vibrates and gradually heats up. One procedure was done for about half an hour. After the first session, my muscles relaxed, the pain subsided. I went through 10 procedures, I am very pleased with the effect, and I do not regret the money spent at all. I recommend.


My wife and I underwent underwater traction of the spine. She has osteochondrosis, and I suffered from back pain after a long-standing accident. I can’t say that nothing helped at all, the effect was, and the pains completely disappeared for me, and my wife’s neck began to function normally. In general, it helped us, although the diseases are different.

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