Table of Contents

Physical Therapists often use traction for back pain and lower back pain relief. But, how do you traction for back pain at home when the patient is unable to come to your office or mount a treatment table because of mobility problems?

In this ongoing series on Physical Therapy continuing education, I show changes you can do to your traction for back pain for patients who cannot leave their homes. This technique is ideal for Physical Therapists working in home settings.

Traction for Back Pain Treatment

Babs is one of my regular clients. You probably remember her from the senior balance training and agility drills training video.

Babs had a fall several months ago. The fall caused further fractures in her lumbar spine and has caused Babs to experience significant back and hip pain.

Since her fall Babs is less mobile and her ability to do certain exercises, such as squats, are affected.

I wanted a way to provide Babs sustained back pain relief. I see Babs in her home and so a traction table was not an option. I needed to find a way to apply traction for back pain relief in a position that she found accessible and comfortable.

Traction for Back Pain Relief

In the video you will see how I was able to apply traction to Babs and relieve her back pain while she is prone on her bed. It works best to have a pillow under the pelvis and feet.

The results are significant for Bab and I urge other therapist to consider it for their clients.

I recently used this same technique successfully with a client who had back pain due to spinal stenosis.

Physical Therapy Traction Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Margaret: Welcome back to MelioGuide.

I’m Margaret Martin. Many of you know Babs’ from videos that she’s done on agility training. Babs unfortunately had a fall and with the fall she sustained further fractures in the lumbar spine. As a result, she’s getting shorter. I’m finally getting taller!

One of the things that we found that gave you some back pain relief was to have you lay on your tummy and for me to actually traction the pelvis away from your ribs.

Is that a comfortable thing for you, Babs?

Babs: Mm-hmm.

Margaret: Good. Do you find that once I do the back pain traction it gives you some sustained relief?

Babs: Mm-hmm.

Margaret: Good. All right. Other than being in with you every day, at least it’s nice to know that you get back pain relief a couple times a week.

Babs: Yes.

Margaret: Babs, in order to give you a little bit of back pain relief for that hip pain that you get, and I think it’s from the ribs sitting in too close to your pelvis, what I’m going to do is get up on the bed and do some more of the traction for back pain relief for you.

Babs: Mm-hmm.

Margaret: All right. So here I come.

All right. I’m going to place my hands right on top of your pelvis here. If it’s uncomfortable at all, you let me know.

All right. Let’s work with the breath. Nice breath in, and exhale as I draw back towards me . . . two, three and release. Nice breath in, exhale . . . two, three. Is my hand position okay, Babs?

Babs: Yes.

Margaret: Lovely. Let’s go three more times. Breath in and exhale . . two, three and release. Good job on the breath. Exhale . . . through two, three. One more time. Nice breath, and exhale . . .two, three. Good job. Does that give you a little relief through the hip?

Babs: Mm-hmm.

Margaret: Good. For you Physical Therapists that are working in the home, hopefully the technique (traction for back pain at home) that you’ve just seen will provide you with another tool to help your clients.

That’s all for MelioGuide today. Thanks for tuning in.

Physical Therapy Continuing Education

To learn more about how to Physical Therapy Continuing Education, visit my page dedicated to Physical Therapy Continuing Education.