Definition: Traction means pulling on part of the body.
Most often, traction uses devices such as weights and pulleys to put tension on a displaced bone or joint, such as a dislocated shoulder. The tension helps put the joint back in position and keep it still.
Traction is also used to keep a group of muscles (such as the neck muscles) stretched to reduce muscle spasms. This is called cervical traction.
A traction treatment will involve a:
- Certain amount of tension to pull the body part into another position
- Length of time to use the tension
- Way to keep the tension steady
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Cheung JPY, Karppinen J, Takatalo J, Wang H-Q, Shen FH, Samartzis D. Cervical degenerative disk disease. In: Shen FH, Samartzis D, Fessler RG, eds. Textbook of the Cervical Spine. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 12.