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Has anyone tried TRACTION for cervical neuroforaminal stenosis?

Started by Robert Miller on 08/30/2011 2:27am

Hi All,

Would someone be prepared to share their experiences with having TRACTION for cervical neuroforaminal stenosis? Did you find any neuropathic pain relief and how would you rate the effectiveness of the treatment?

I have mild to moderate cervical neuroforaminal stenosis at C3/C4; C5/C6; and C6/C7 levels.

A few weeks ago, I had a cervical transforaminal epidural (cortisone) injection, however, this has not provided any relief.

Any other non surgery recommendations would also be much appreciated.

Thanks & kind regards,

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I don't have your same condition. I have herniated nucleus pulposus in my neck. I just finished 6 weeks of physical therapy with traction and the traction really relieved the pressure off my neck. I also got a side sleeper pillow that helped with sleep.
Good luck with your neck.

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Thanks for your response Karen, it is great to hear that traction has been effective in relieving your neck pain. I intend to try it and hopefully it will relieve the intense radicular buring pain and ache in my arms which is caused by the multiple nerve impingements.

Take care & kind regards

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i have stenosis, herniated nuc-pal and a couple of other things at c3/4, plus issues at all levels of the c-spine...
i did pt last year for a couple months and they did cervical traction... it actually did feel good, but like most things like that, is only short term... however, there are home units for c-tract, which includes something that looks like a bunch of tires stacked on top of each other with a hand pump attached that inflates it to create the traction.... i want to get one but have not done so as yet....

pt also did ultrasound therapy, and laser therapy --both are awesome ! there again, only short term relief and home units are very expensive ! one thing with these,they can only apply the treatments for a few minutes per treatment session, and most therapist only use light pressure, but they can hit a very tender/painful spot with light pressure and it really hurts and you have to let them know asap.....i had that happen and i would sure let out a "that hurts!"

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Hi SunnyD,

I appreciate your comments regarding your experiences with traction and other PT treatments. It sounds like you have been making some great progress with managing your pain levels (without surgical intervention).

When I visit my PT next week (for my other spinal issue - post surgery rehabilitation TLIF - L5/S1), I will ask her if the cervical traction device will have any potential conflicting impact on my lower spine which is still healing from surgery (7 weeks ago) .

Take care

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good idea to ask that...

some pt's may use a different traction device than mine did... mine uses a comfy thickly padded table and the neck traction thing is set up.. time she got done getting me set up and going, i never felt anything other than my neck/head going up and down.. i never felt like my lower back was shifting at all.... you can always try it one time with some very light weight to start, and the pt stay by you in case you need it to stop due to feeling something in your lumbar.....
my therapist is closed right now, as their building lease ran out and they were already looking for a new building to rent, but had not found one appropriate before they had to get all their things out. i told her to call me as soon as she is back open-- as she was great, and really a caring therapist.. most just look at it as a paycheck...
just to explain what a great person she is, the next to last visit i had with her, when she wanted to schedule more visits, i told her i couldnt afford it any longer as i only had enough money to last the rest of the month for my dr visits and meds.. she told me that she would schedule me for another visit that week, and she would bill the insurance company enough to cover my copay. and if they paid what she charged, she would continue doing that for me until i had used up all the visits they would pay for... i did the one visit and she did that and they paid.. but i just didnt feel right about it, so i didnt go back... but now that i am approved for ssdi, once she is open again, if i only go once a week for therapy on my neck, i can afford it...but at the same time, she will ask my dr to prescribe me a home cervical traction device.... i am going to run this by my pain dr and see if he will just prescribe one for me when i see him next week...

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Hi SunnyD,

Subsequent to your traction treatment, do you find that you can do without pain medication? (I.e. neurontin - as per your other replied post under neuroforaminal stenosis medication).

How long do you get pain relief for before you have to take pain medication?

Your PT sounds very proactive, a great example of someone who is extremely passionate about their job and clients.

Do you think that you will ever consider having surgery for your neck as a measure to potentially avoid neurologic deficits? I realize that traction and pain meds are only a temporary patch repair when it comes to the treatment of pain. The spinal experts generally say that surgery is typically the only successful option to treating neuroforaminal stenosis (i.e. identifies and corrects the root cause).

In 3 months time, I am scheduled to have a review discussion with my neurosurgeon regarding potential surgery.

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i forgot to mention in my other reply, that i have tramadol (ultram) currently as my "pain" medicine... i take it as prescribed due to the various types of pain i have, and sometimes i may have to take an extra one for breakthru pain... you would think with all the meds i have, i would not have any breakthru pain, but i do....

as for surgery-- i see a neurologist who is also a pain management dr.. he keeps a close watch on stenosis and has told me symptoms i might experience if it gets any worse... he is very conservative, and recommends anything new to try to avoid surgery as long as possible... but he has told me at some point, it will become the only option to avoid possible paralysis... meanwhile, paralysis is one of the risk involved with spinal surgery..... that said, i am doing anything possible to avoid surgery as long as i can, and i will cross that bridge when i get to it.... i try not to think about such a big "what if" at this point, as it sends my anxiety and panic levels thru the roof....

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