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How to Do Home Cervical Neck Traction

Cervical neck traction is used to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve, and is also helpful for a variety of other neck problems. It also reduces the pain, weakness, and numbness that is associated with a pinched nerve. Performing cervical neck traction at home is easy, safe, effective, painless, and best of all it can help swollen, irritated nerves to heal and become small enough that they are no longer pinched. All it takes is a cord, small towel, and a few minutes each day to perform cervical neck traction at home for free.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Tie one end of a piece of rope to the end of a small towel. You can also use a strong cord or string, if necessary. Loop the rope around a door knob of a sturdy, closed door in your home, as this is where you'll begin the cervical neck traction.

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Bring the rope back and tie it to the other end of the small towel. The entire apparatus should be long enough that the towel just barely touches the floor underneath the door knob when hanging. Now you're ready to begin a cervical neck traction treatment.

Lie on your back on the floor with the top of your head close to the door you're using. Try to keep your back and neck as straight as possible. Rest your head in the sling you've created with the towel, making sure it's held up comfortably, and just off the floor, but NOT tilted forward or back.

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Lie with your head suspended in the sling for seven minutes for your first day of cervical neck traction treatment. Use a kitchen timer or stopwatch to time yourself and don't exceed seven minutes.

Repeat the cervical neck traction each day, adding one minute per day to your time, until you reach 15 minutes. Continue at 15 minutes per day, as long as necessary, or until your symptoms cease.


Cervical neck traction can be performed twice per day, if you feel it's necessary, but each treatment should be performed no less than eight hours apart.


Do not fall asleep while performing cervical neck traction. It's important not to exceed the recommended times, as this can overstretch the neck muscles. Make sure you lock the door before beginning a cervical neck traction treatment, so no one comes in while your head's in the sling.