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Traction techniques have been utilized in physical therapy for decades. There is both mechanical and manual traction. In our clinic, we use manual traction that is delivered either directly from hand contact on the body or, as shown in the picture, utilizing a harness. The purpose of manual traction is to provide a very specific and controlled distraction force to the spine or joint in order to alleviate pain or compression. It can help with the “pinch” of a herniated disc or the compression that occurs in an arthritic knee. We not only use traction in the clinic but will also educate you in how to perform self-traction at home. Inversion tables are one (more extreme) example. There are also options for braces that provide traction and self-traction devices that can be used easily at home. We utilize manual traction as both an evaluation and as a treatment tool. Using manual traction during our evaluation can tell us a lot about the origin of your pain.