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How to Traction Yourself Out If Neck Is Hurting

Updated on October 28, 2010

Oh My Neck/Upper Spine Is Killing Me?

If you read my other hub regarding how to pop your own back and it's not helping bring any relief to your upper spine then maybe you would be interested in learning about this technique I just discovered. Let me state, I am not a trained professional and this is just what I do. I suggest that when you are in pain you go to the doctor. My brother is a chiropractor who lives out to town and I'd see him if I had the time. He'd probably freak if he read this article. But this just brought some sweet relief to me.

You see, the bathtub trick I showed you in my other article wasn't helping me this time. Every once in a while I feel pain in my uppermost back area--or would it be considered the neck? It's the cervical part of the spine according to what I just looked up in my quick online research. My grandmother was humped over and had a Dowinger's Hump. I have the beginnings of one as well. I hate it! My mother seems to have a similar posture; therefore, I need to ensure I don't let myself slip into this as well. Whenever I saw my grandmother (she is in heaven now) I secretly had the urge to pick her up by the head and shake her until her spine straightened out. Of course, I did not do this. Now my spine is hurting and I think it'd feel great if someone could do it to me.

Because of this issue, I find that a few times a year I feel like the cervical part of my spine is smashed together or compressed. I remember going to a freaky chiropractor in town who I didn't care for much, but he did do the most wonderful thing to me that relieved the compression almost instantly. After adjusting me, I lay/lain/laid/laid? (can you believe I used to teach English?) face up on the table while he gently pulled my head away from my spine and a large satisfying crack or pop issued forth. It was wonderful! Must have been if I remember it all these years later. But...I don't have time to go to a chiropractor right now and I hate the way they always make me get Xrays and want me to come back for multiple visits. With a toddler and a mother who has dementia...I simply do not have the time or money right now. I finally figured out something to help and I already feel about 60-70% better than I did earlier this morning.

I looked for my large rock from Ireland, but could only find this. I would guess it weighs about 5 lbs or so. I'd start small and err on side of caution if trying this at home.
I looked for my large rock from Ireland, but could only find this. I would guess it weighs about 5 lbs or so. I'd start small and err on side of caution if trying this at home.
Mouse weight is now in the sock. Sock is knotted around tie. Tie is knotted in loop that will fit over my forehead.
Mouse weight is now in the sock. Sock is knotted around tie. Tie is knotted in loop that will fit over my forehead.
It was hard to show this using a doll, but hopefully you get the gist of it.
It was hard to show this using a doll, but hopefully you get the gist of it.

What I Did to Help Myself

 If you decide to try this as well, please make sure someone is in the room with you in case you hurt yourself. Afterall, you are messing with your spine which keeps you moving. I would hate for you to paralyze yourself. That is why gentle is the operative word.

I give advice that I don't follow. I was alone and thus the images provided include the use of my daughter's doll. But you can get the basic idea. I got this idea from another chiropractor I visited. I go through them like a pack of gum don't I? I would tell you why I could never come back, but if I really don't want to put it out there for the world to see. It was a most embarrassing incident. He was really good too. Oh well.

After adjusting me, this chiropractor did not traction me out like the other one. But he put me on a massaging table and gave my neck a gentle stretch by hanging a weight off of my head. So here is what I did.

  1. Found a heavy object. I am guessing this bookend weighs about 5 lbs? It's heavier than it looks.
  2. I stuck it in a long sock belonging to my husband.
  3. I knotted the sock around an ugly tie belonging, again, to my husband. (Smile)
  4. I laid on my bed (wishing it was firmer) and I rolled up a towel under my neck.
  5. Then I placed the tie (which I tied another knot it) over my forehead and let the weighted homemade device hang hands free from my forehead. I wriggled around until it felt just right. I even tried a few pillows.
  6. I lay there for a few minutes feeling this gentle stretch.
  7. Then, I pushed my neck out a bit using my hands under my neck and on my chin.

Santa Will You Bring Me This?

Headline Sign 73161 Graphic Art Tape, Black, 1/16-Inch Wide, 603 Inches Long
Headline Sign 73161 Graphic Art Tape, Black, 1/16-Inch Wide, 603 Inches Long
Based on the air -Traction , Neck Traction allows for deep neck muscle relaxation. Relief of tension, muscles spasms, stress and pressure in the neck , shoulders, head and cervical vertebral area. You can feel the results in just a few short minutes. Neck Traction can effectively aid the treatment of cervical disease, improve the blood supply to neck and brain, release many kinds of symptoms caused by cervical disease.

But How Did I Pop My Upper Spine

 With the method described above I enjoyed a nice gentle stretch which is safest. I have to admit I did something rather unsafe to actually pop my uppermost spine and do what a chiropractor calls "tractioning you out." It was unsafe so I will not provide a picture or a lot of detail. I also should have made sure my husband was here when I did it. As you could easily hang yourself I guess.

My bed has both a heavy iron headboard and footboard. So...before trying that stretch described above, I used same ugly tie by itelf to wrap around my neck and the bedframe. I made sure I was sitting on the floor so I could not hang myself. I also didn't tie any double knots. I then found put a pillow in front of the wrought iron headboard so my face didn't have to be up against it. I relaxed for a moment and enjoyed the weightless of feeling my spine being pulled. The key was not having to used my own hands. My shoulders were totally relaxed. I was able to pull down with my body weight in just the right direction that helped me actually pop something in there.

I would strongly recommend just using the slow and easy stretch each day or so if you must try any of this. However, I don't want to get sued so again, I am not a doctor. Just an ordinary person who is obsessed with popping my joints to make myself feel bettter. They tighten up when I get stressed out. I did feel like this way was safer than having my husband pull my head up gently since I was more in control of the angle in which my neck and spine were being pulled.


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    • Arc4life profile image


      5 years ago from Florida

      Interesting Hub.

      Traction can be a dangerous thing actually if not done correctly. I am more inclined to use some kind of unit which has a proper harness. Just my two thoughts.

      P.s Don't feel bad about alot. I think its a common enough mistake. In grade six my teacher alerted to our class that a lot is actually two words.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A lot is two words:)

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      8 years ago from London

      I love this hub, not only because it's well written, but because I do things like this myself! I haven't tried using props like ties and bookends, etc.. but I make things pop by copying what chiropractors have done, or just by going with what feels right. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I do make things worse. So you have to be a bit careful and learn what works for you. Great hub though.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It works (:

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Both hilarious and believable - I love the honesty and I know I've done similar things feeling the same way to get relief - interesting how often we have to invent things that work for us even though (or because) there's a multi-billion dollar industry out there servicing our needs.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i use alot alot!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You taught English and you use 'alot?' Shame on you.

    • BodyFaceShop profile image


      9 years ago from California, Los Angeles

      Interesting hub. I have an air neck traction device at home. It's better to use an inflatable neck traction device than with a tie. Air neck traction device is more comfortable and at the same time it provides you a strong neck traction.

      I wrote a hub about home neck traction here:

      I just visited a Chiropractor for my stiffed lower back and neck. He massaged my neck and did some adjustment for my lower back. Was very helpful.


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