During traction therapy the joints of the extremities and the spine are carefully pulled apart in preparation of physiotherapeutic exercises. The therapist determines the effect of the traction by choosing the spot where the pull takes place, the direction of the pull and the required positioning of the joint. The goal is to reduce pressure on joints and in some cases on nerves and to loosen tensed up muscles. The application of traction may involve simple devices such as a specialized belt or a larger apparatus such as a table with slings.
Traction therapy supplements physical therapy and is prescribed by a physician.