It is probably safe to say that any and everybody who is walking this earth experiences neck, shoulder, and back pains from time to time. Some of us chronically have these issues.
Neck pain can be caused by a few different things, like sitting at a desk for too long, staying stagnant and in the same position for too long, sleeping in strained positions, and of course, carrying a lot of weight on your back and shoulders.
Thankfully it became understood that if we were able to relieve the tension on our necks, we could remedy a lot of those pains that we experienced. After several months in the lab, the inventor of this idea came with the “neck stretcher” (Disclaimer: we do not claim this to be an accurate depiction of neck stretcher history, rather it is our creative interpretation of how this beautiful device came about).
No, we aren’t talking about the kind the Kayan people in Myanmar wear. We are referring to the kind of neck stretches that ease tension you build up in your upper back shoulders and neck during your daily activities.
Why do neck stretchers work so well?
The more standard name for neck stretchers is “neck traction devices”. It means the same thing, but it’s a little more elegant than simply calling it a neck stretcher (plus it sounds significantly less painful).
Neck traction devices will help to relieve pain by straightening the vertebra in the neck to put your body back into a neutral position and help reshape your spine to correct bad posture. As with any other device, you won’t necessarily get the results you are looking for right away because it is making slow, permanent improvements to your posture. But if you utilize the products properly you begin to major improvements in your posture, and the pain you have been experiencing will decrease exponentially.
To help you on your journey to find a neck stretcher that will help relieve your upper body pains and correct spinal issues due to years of not paying proper attention to your posture, we have put together a list of neck traction devices that will
What to look for on a neck traction device
When you are looking to pick up a traction, there are some things you need to watch out for, the first of which is the safety of the product. Some producers don’t use high-quality material when developing their product, and worse still, some models apply way too much pressure cutting off circulation and airflow. Obviously, you don’t want to secure something around your neck if it’s going to choke you.
There is also more than one kind of neck traction device, you have the basic air neck traction devices, you have posture pumps, and there is an over the door neck traction device. These are three completely different methods of relieving pressure but accomplish the same task.
List of Top 5 Best Neck Stretchers in 2018
Alright, we’ve given you enough background information on this, let’s get down to which neck traction models we think will give you the best results.
#5 4 Neck Pro 2 Cervical Traction Device
The Neck Pro 2 is an over the door traction device designed to lift your head off of your shoulders, letting the neck vertebra decompress effectively removing all neck tensions.
Over the door neck stretchers look eerily similar to medieval torture devices at first glance, so we understand your apprehension to use this, but trust us when we say, the results are astounding. It should ease your mind to know that this has several safety measures to make sure you don’t hurt yourself while using it.
The Neck Pro 2 will only allow you to put 25 pounds of traction to your neck to reduce the risk of injury. You’ll hook the device up to a door, release the rope, so there is enough slack to secure the harness to your neck and head. Once you have got the device secured to your neck pull the string to get to the amount of tension that you feel comfortable with.
One of the safety features of the Neck Pro Two is that if you have more than 25 pounds of tension on the string, the quick release pin will disengage and the slack will return to its position before you began tightening it.
Here are some pros of the Neck Pro 2:
- Allows up to 25 pounds of pressure to give your neck a sufficient stretch
- Compression spring and racket are simple to adjust, making it easy to adjust the tension
- Easy to set up
- Plenty of safety measures to make sure you don’t hurt yourself
- Fits any size
Cons of the Neck Pro 2:
- Takes a lot of time to get used to
- Has to be connected to the door
- Puts a lot of pressure on your jaw
- Sometimes the mechanism will slip even if you don’t have maximum tension on it
- Easy to want to overstretch your neck to ease tension
Over the door traction devices are a double edge sword, they provide an excellent stretch in your neck, but it also natural to want to overstretch which can exacerbate the pains you are already experiencing. But the Neck Pro 2 does apply plenty of safety measures to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself, so that really shouldn’t be an issue.
It is effortless to set up, and if you can stand the pressure, it will put on your jaw this device will work wonders for you after a few weeks of use and can save you some money by letting you bypass expensive visits to your physical therapist.
#4 Posture Pump POS 1100S Cervical Disc Hydrator
This product is a posture pump mechanism that helps to release the pressure and tension from your neck significantly, and aside from the unfortunate name of the device (POS 1100S Cervical Disc Hydrator? They could have done better), it is nearly perfect.
The Cervical Traction Pump helps you to maintain mobility in your neck and the natural “C” curve of your cervical spine. It does this by elevating the base of your neck and increasing the air pressure in the device and stretching your neck for ten seconds before you release the pressure and restart the process.
Here are some of the pros of the Posture Pump:
- Relieves painful neck stiffness
- Stops headaches from recurring
- Decreases disk bulging
- Maintains proper neck curves and helps promote good posture
- Very easy to use
- Simple design
Cons of the Posture Pump:
- Not useful if you have actual neck injuries
- Easy to over-inflate the device when you first start using it
- Needs regular use this isn’t a quick fix device
- The velcro straps used to secure the pump to your head are uncomfortable
The Posture Pump POS is a good device if you are experiencing consistent neck pains due to “tech neck” or any other posture issues you may have. But this certainly is not a quick fix device; you will need to use the product on a daily basis in order to permanently fix the posture issues you have developed over time, as that is the root cause of neck pains (unless you have sustained an actual neck shoulder or upper back injury).
When you first start using this device be careful in how much you inflate it, otherwise you may sustain injuries. If you ease your way into this exercise, you should find that it yields tremendous benefits.
#3 ComforTrac Cervical Traction Unit
This unit mimics the same neck traction products that you will find in the office of any physical therapists. It was engineered for the specific purpose of giving you supreme comfort while providing efficient and effective pain relief. It utilizes a memory foam headrest to cradle your head keeping it in a neutral position while it decompresses the vertebrae in your neck.
The device is extremely light making it easy to bring along with you anywhere you go and to make transportation with the ComforTrack easier; they provide you with a carrying case for it. While it is a lightweight device, it still retains the sturdy construction design needed to make it an effective neck traction device
Here are some of the pros of the ComforTrack:
- Lightweight and portable
- Yields incredible pain relieving results
- Relieves both neck and shoulder pains
- Easy to use
Cons of the ComforTrack:
- The slides on it can be a nuisance at times
- Expensive device
- Slides all over the place on wood, linoleum, and tile flooring (use this on carpet to keep it steady)
- The head strap is tighter than it has to be
Of course, nothing is going to replace a visit to your doctor to fix any injuries or misalignments you have, but the ComforTrack is a very close second. If it didn’t cost as much money as it does, we would probably recommend this as the number one product. As it stands now, it is excellent, but very pricey as well.
#2 Careshine Inflatable cervical neck traction device
This is probably the most widely used neck traction device today. It is one of the softest and the most comfortable product that is on the market. Its extremely easy to use, very lightweight and durable enough to last you hundreds of uses.
It utilizes both high and low-pressure air chambers to get a perfect stretch on your neck to improve your posture. This is great for treating injuries or pain caused by pinched nerves and significantly reduces neck and shoulder pains.
Pros of the Careshine:
- Inexpensive product that offers very good results
- Relieves back and shoulder pain
Cons of the Careshine:
- The bulb you use to inflate is weak
- Begins to leak after a lot of use
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to alleviate neck and shoulder pains, the Careshine is a great product to get your hands on. It is very soft, very comfortable and reliably gets the job done. The Careshine won’t give you the results you will get from larger more expensive devices, but it gives you some alleviation.
#1 Pronex Cervical Traction Device
This product will use traction and air pressure to help alleviate neck pains, all you have to do is position it correctly on the back of your neck. It works by applying pressure to the spinal disks up in the neck area, and inflating (you choose how much it inflates) and stretching the neck muscles decompressing the spine.
It is straightforward to use, very comfortable, and quickly begins to reduce the cycle of neck and shoulder pains many of us experience on a daily basis. You should be laying down while using this to allow for a maximum stretch without compromising your neck due to a lack of support.
Here are some of the pros for this Pronex device:
Save tons of money on expensive chiropractor visits and physical therapy
Provides excellent stretches to your neck and helps promote good posture
Very soft and comfortable device
Cons of the Pronex:
- Costly device
- The company does not accept returns
This is really good for anybody that has had previous neck injuries (that have already been addressed and fixed) and now need something to alleviate the pressure that builds up in the neck over time. It is a pretty expensive device, but the amount of money it will save you in chiropractic visits is well worth the price tag. This would be a much better product if the company allowed you to return the product if it doesn’t work for you.
Wrap – Up
Though neck traction is a handy way to reduce neck and shoulder pains that you have, it is vital that you speak to your doctor before you decide to purchase one. The reason for this is because you want to make sure that you don’t have any structural damage that needs to be fixed first. Failing to make sure you are healthy enough to use these can result in more severe problems down the road.