According to Dr. Nick Mclary, spinal and neck decompression should not be used as a first line of treatment. He recommends a patients explore exercise and physical therapy options to increase range of motion and strengthen muscle tissue, then if needed steroid treatment with spinal decompression and traction being a last resort as most patients in a blind study got little or no relief from decompression methods. Most people with lower back pain, outside of sciatica and injury, have muscle strain and benefit more from diet and exercise than anything else.
- According to the current research, spinal decompression, otherwise known as traction, should not be used as a go-to treatment for lower back pain and/or sciatica.
- Exercise and other treatments are typically more effective for improving lower back pain than traction.
- According to a study of those with chronic neck pain, traction was no more effective in alleviating their discomfort than a placebo.
“Overall, the evidence suggests that the use of traction for these conditions is not warranted as a first line of treatment.”