Traction involves the use of a pulling force either directly or indirectly to bones. Traction can be used to prevent or reduce muscle spasms, keep a joint or other part of the body from moving, or restore a fractured bone to its normal position. There are two main types of traction – skin and skeletal.
Skin traction is applied to the skin surfaces, usually by a pelvic belt, head halter, traction boot, or moleskin straps covered with elastic wraps. It is attached to ropes and weights appropriate to the age and condition of the patient.
Skin traction uses lower amounts of weight because skin cannot tolerate the pull of large amounts of weight over long periods. Thus skin traction is sometimes used intermittently or for short periods while skeletal traction, once applied, is always continuous and is used for longer periods and with heavier weights.
Skin traction is used to treat muscle injuries, bone fractures, ruptured or herniated discs, muscle contractures, and arthritic conditions. It can be applied to an arm, the head, a leg or the pelvis. Some types of skin traction, such as the head halter and Buck extension, can be used at home.
Considerations for use of skin traction at home include:
1. The traction will pull on the skin and could cause additional injury to the already compromised skin. It should not be applied over open sores, rashes, bruises, marked swelling, or raised moles or warts.
2. The skin under the areas where the traction is to be applied should not be shaved. Shaving could cause small cuts that could become inflamed under the traction.
3. It should be made sure the skin is clean and dry to prevent chafing or maceration caused by excess water on the skin.
4. It should be well found out if the weights can be removed at times – especially at night. The time for weight can be in 2 hours, then out 2 hours, and off at night. Being in traction at night often prevents the patient from relaxing muscles to allow rest and sleep.
5. Usually the patient receives relief of muscle spasms and pain from the effects of the traction. Adjustments in the amount of weights, positions, or time in traction may be needed for benefits to be achieved. At times, the use of traction may need to be stopped if there are adverse reactions.
6. Counting of the arterial pulses in the extremities or area in traction, temperature, color, and swelling should be watched. It may be necessary to wrap the elastic bandages (if used) properly to prevent over tightness leading to more swelling, numbness or tingling, or throbbing under the bandages. Elastic bandages should be removed and reapplied more loosely if these symptoms occur after the traction has been applied.
When the injury is severe and demands longer periods of immobilization, skeletal traction is needed. Skeletal traction is applied directly to the bone by nails or pins inserted into the bone. Because the bones can tolerate more pressure than skin, up to 30 pounds of pull may be applied by means of weights, ropes, and pulleys.
? Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma
Homoeo Cure & Research Centre P. Ltd.
N.H. 74, Moradabad Road,
Kashipur- Zip- 244713
Ph. 05947- 260327, 274338, 277418, 275535
Fax – 91 5947 274338, Cell – 98 371 47000
E. Mail- firstname.lastname@example.org