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
Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Krettek C, Anderson PA. Craniocervical injuries. In: Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Krettek C, Anderson PA, eds. Skeletal Trauma: Basic Science, Management, and Reconstruction. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 33.
Catapang G. Traction. In: Lennard TA, Walkowski S, Singla AK, Vivian DG, eds. Pain Procedures in Clinical Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 47.