Managing chronic neck pain can take its toll. Over time, it can make you feel tired, irritable, depressed, anxious, or it could even make you feel hopeless. It is not hard for your health to spiral when faced with persistent discomfort. However, depending on the reason for your pain, you may be able to find relief with a neck traction device. A neck traction device needs to fit comfortably, be easy to use, and never increase or elevate your pain in any way. DaviSMART's neck traction device is our favorite because it meets all the above requirements, and it has added benefits that can deliver even greater health rewards.
Considerations when choosing neck traction devices
Three types of neck traction devices
Although there are many neck traction devices to choose from, they all can be broken down into three categories: pneumatic devices, over-the-door devices, or posture pumps.
Pneumatic traction devices
Pneumatic traction devices look like three neck pillows stacked on top of each other. You place the pillows around your neck and pump air into them. Gradually, they lift your head up, relieving the pressure on your cervical vertebrae. Pneumatic traction devices can be used in any position, whether you are lying down, sitting up, or even standing.
Over-the-door traction devices
An over-the-door traction device will need to be installed -- most often on a door, which must be closed after the installation. Usually, the assembly and installation is not that difficult so the product can be quickly removed. A chin strap holds the user's head, and a pulley system gently lifts the head upward to relieve pressure on the cervical vertebrae. Over-the-door traction devices are mostly designed to be used when sitting or standing, but some models require you to lie down for treatments.
Posture pumps provide the greatest, most immediate relief. However, they are also the most expensive type of neck traction device. The purpose of this device is to restore the natural curve in your neck. To use this device, you must be lying down with your forehead strapped in while you adjust the pressure on the back of your neck.
Pneumatic traction devices are the most affordable, usually falling in the $20 to $30 price range. Over-the-door traction devices typically cost between $30 and $60. A posture pump is the most expensive option, with some costing as much as $300.
Once you have decided which type of neck traction device you prefer, you'll want to make sure you understand how to properly use it, that it is comfortable, that it allows you to be positioned how you prefer, and that it's working for you.
Q. How does a neck traction device work?
A. A neck traction device gently lifts your head away from your shoulders, which immediately reduces the pressure between your cervical vertebrae. Individuals may experience a lessening of neck pain, tension, and stiffness. Additionally, using a neck traction device may increase flexibility.
Q. Is using a neck traction device safe?
A. In most cases, yes. However, before attempting any new treatment, you should always consult with your doctor to make sure this is the best and safest strategy for you. For instance, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, a recent neck injury, a bone infection, or another chronic condition in the neck region, it would not be advisable to use a neck traction device.
Q. How long should my sessions be?
A. You should always consult with your doctor for any medical questions. In general, however, you should use your neck traction device for about 15 to 20 minutes per session. You can do this several times each day, if needed.
Neck traction devices we recommend
Best of the best: DaviSMART's Neck Traction Device
Our take: An affordable pneumatic neck traction device that can help relieve pain in the neck and shoulders.
What we like: DaviSMART's Neck Traction Device is lightweight, highly portable, and very easy to use. It also comes with a bonus sleep mask and access to exercises that can help relieve neck pain.
What we dislike: If you have a larger neck, this product may feel unsettlingly tight.
Best bang for your buck: ONTEN Neck Traction Device
Our take: An affordable pneumatic neck traction device with a reinforced center to help decrease discomfort while using.
What we like: The inner circle is round, not teardrop-shaped, so it helps keep pressure off of the carotid artery, which is often why people feel claustrophobic when wearing a neck traction device.
What we dislike: This unit only works on individuals with a 13- to 17-inch neck.
Choice 3: The Neck Hammock Neck Traction Device
Our take: A portable one-size-fits-all neck traction device that is used while lying down on the floor.
What we like: The Neck Hammock is lightweight, portable, and adaptable to many situations - you can be innovative when fastening. It is comfortable and relaxing and only requires 10 minutes for the average treatment.
What we dislike: Due to the slight tug that provides the traction, it can be difficult for some people to keep their head in the sling because it tends to slip out.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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