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Traction devices

Tilted bed

tilted bed
My tilted bed has its own page, and is also for traction of my neck and back

Tilt table

This type of device is called a tilt table or inversion table.
Here's an illustration how it looks:
tilt table tilt table kanteltafel tilt table tilt table
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

Brand en type: Kettler Apollo
This apparatus works well for me.
You can determine by yourself how tilted you lie. After a few times the tilting can be increased, until you are hanging upside down after a few weeks (or a few months).
The disadvantage is that you are hanging by your ankles, and they are not really suited for that. Every day about 10 minutes hanging upside down is no problem. Sometimes I use it several times a day, and sometimes not for some weeks. Usually I use it for about 5 minutes. After 1 or 2 minutes I sometimes move my head gently a little to the left and right and sometimes my neck makes a crackling sound, after that there is less mechanical pressure in my neck.
In 2005 I paid 150 euros for a second hand tilt table.
The one I have is a Kettler Apollo, which seems solid and safe. I had to lengthen the board, because that was too short for me.

To use such a tilt table it is not necessary to completely hang upside down. But if I do, my head hangs freely and that gives the best traction for my neck.

One time, I didn't use the tilt table for half a year. After that I could tilt completely until I was hanging upside down without problem. I do have trouble with dizziness sometimes, but with this apparatus, it seems that dizziness is not an issue once I got used to hanging upside down.

tilt table tilt table tilt table tilt table
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

Back traction apparatus

This is a different kind of device.
Brand and type: Bac Trac.
Here's a sketch:
rugtractie toestel back traction apparatus back traction apparatus back traction apparatus back traction apparatus back traction apparatus
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

This apparatus has the advantage that you are not hanging on your ankles.
The disadvantage is that you can not hang upside down a little, but have to hang upside down right away. The device was not suitable for my length and I didn't dare to tilt forward in it.
I've asked a few others to hang in it. Although it was a bit awkward the first time, it did work.
I returned the apparatus, and I got my money back.

Necktraction with head harness

neck traction with head harness
With this one, you sit on a chair and using a harness strapped to your head which gently pulls your head up. The counterweight of the harness can be filled with water and it is connected to the harness by a rope which runs through a bracket. The bracket is placed on top of a door.
This is how it is used:
neck traction with head harness neck traction with head harness neck traction with head harness
These 3D illustrations are made by Amarcus ICT and are Public Domain.

The type that I bought had the disadvantage that the rope didn't slid smoothly through the bracket. If I made myself a little taller, then the pulling effect was gone, and when I made myself a little smaller, it pulled too much.
I solved that problem by removing the counterweight, and replacing the rope with elastic band. In that way the pulling force on my head was always the same.
My head weighs a few pounds, and that weight rests on my neck. With this harness half that weight is repealed.
However, the harness pulled on my head in a wrong way somehow. My neck problems were increased, so I didn't use the harness anymore.
Neck traction is also called "cervical traction".

Pneumatic neck traction

pneumatic necktraction
Brand: Pronex
The idea is that you lie on your back, with your neck in this device. The bellows rest on your shoulders, and the blue form is pressed against your head. By inflating the bellows, the neck is stretched.
I have used this in the past, and sometimes it did help. But since I have tilt table, I don't use it anymore.
In 2002 I paid over 400 euros for this device.

inflatable neck collar
Brand: TracCollar
Another type of pneumatic neck traction is an inflatable neck-collar. The height of this collar is not high enough for me. It is also quite stiff, and it presses against my head in an unpleasant way.
I bought the TracCollar in 2008 for 120 euros. But if I had ordered it abroad, I would have to pay 60 euros plus import duties.

cheap inflatable neck collar
I bought this inflatable neck collar for 6 euro. It was not high enough for my neck, so I bought two of them and I stack them on each other. I use this neck collar occasionally.
When traveling in a car (as a passenger) I prefer these inflatable collars above my usual neck collar of firm foam.
Once I had them (two stacked on each other) quite tight around my neck, and I choked on some water I wanted to drink. I could not remove the collars in fast way. So that is a disadvantage.
There are good brands of inflatable collars such as the Next Sissel Islander.

The inflatable collar below has 7 layers:
cheap inflatable neck collar with 7 layers
This inflatable collar of 7 layers is made of stiff and thick rubbery material. It is higher than the others. If I however inflatable the collar, then the Velcro lets off.
Because it is made of thick rubber, it doesn't fit well and it is not comfortable to wear. After only just one year the rubber started to become crumbly.
So I have never seriously used this collar.

Hanging shoes

"Hanging Shoes" or "Inversion Boots" or "Gravity Boots" are shoes you can attach to your ankles. These shoes have a hook, which can be hooked to something, to make you hang upside down.
I have never hung upside down with hanging shoes, because it is too difficult, and it is not possible to try to hang on something in a relaxed way.
I used the hanging shoes together with my tilted bed, but that didn't work because my ankles and feet hurts after a short time. I bought ski boots, to see whether that might fit any better, but they didn't.


Around the year 2000, there was a device called "Gravitiser" or "Gravitrin". It stretches the spine by a combination of a flexible support and a moving wave motion.
The cheapest version, inclusive a wave motion costs about 2000 euro's. That was too expensive for me to try it.
I was thinking for years to keep my spine in motion while lying on my bed. That became my mattress with motion.

Last change to this page: August 2017