Three Ways That Your Massage Therapist May Apply Traction To Your Neck

A lot of people visit their local massage therapist because they have neck pain. There are many different types of neck pain, and your therapist's initial hands-on assessment will help them to learn what kind of pain you're dealing with. For tight muscles, you can expect that your massage therapist will gently knead the muscles until they're looser and thus not as tight and sore. If the therapist believes that your pain is coming from deeper in your neck — a herniated disc, for example — they'll often provide neck traction as a form of relief. This gentle, pulling procedure will cause rapid pain relief. Here are three ways that massage therapists apply traction to your neck.


A lot of massage therapists simply use their hands and arms to provide traction. You'll lie on your back with your therapist seated at your head. They'll place their hands under your skull and gently pull. This procedure will lengthen your spine, alleviating the pressure on a herniated disc and thus reducing any irritation that you feel. Because they're using their hands, the therapist will be able to make minuscule adjustments to the amount of pressure they use. You can provide feedback as to whether you want more or less of a pull, and your massage therapist will respond accordingly.


There are some massage therapists who use a towel to provide traction to your neck. They position themselves in a similar way as if they're going to grip your head and neck area with their hands, but they loop a towel under your head and then gently pull. The use of a towel often allows the therapist to exert more pressure on your neck. This can be valuable in the case of a neck with severe pain that requires a significant amount of traction.


Depending on what massage therapy clinic you visit, it's possible that your therapist may have access to all sorts of machines to use in various ways. A traction machine is a fixture at many clinics, and it performs a similar procedure on your neck. Your therapist will fit your head with a specialized bracket, which is attached to an arm on the machine that pulls gently. Even though your massage therapist won't be doing a hands-on treatment for this procedure, they'll remain nearby and can adjust the machine's intensity as needed. Contact your local massage therapist to help with your neck pain.

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