The cervical curvature of the neck is something that many people think is unnatural. They look at the neck on an x-ray and think that something has gone wrong in the forming of that person's spine, but that is not the case. The neck is supposed to have a gentle curve from the top of the spine to the base of the skull, and if this is altered or straightened, it leads to pain and discomfort. The most common method to use to adjust it is exercise or massage, but if that does not work, there is always cervical traction.
Today, medical professionals have to have major ways of accomplishing cervical traction. They will have a patient use a specialized pillow made from washable foam and this uses the weight of the head and the shape of the pillow to reintroduce the cervical curvature to the neck. There is also a much more direct way known simply as cervical traction, and this uses a specialized device that features a harness for the head and chin and a weighted bag that attaches to it.
The bag dangles from the top of the head, and the patient reclines on a special foam wedge that gives the head and neck the most natural curve. The weight forces the head to drop into the proper position and allows the neck to be "re-trained" to take the ideal form.
The most important thing to note about cervical traction of either kind is that it should not be done without first consulting with a physician. The average therapist or chiropractor will know whether or not a patient should have traction, and will also know the best format to use. Both kinds can be easily "self administered", but it is always ideal to know precisely how to do it, and for how long each day. For example, some who use the special pillows will do so for a few times each day and for around ten minutes at a time. Those using the traction harnesses and weights may do only one sitting each day, but will do so for twenty minutes at a time.
Either way, this is a very effective approach towards eliminating head, neck, upper back, shoulder, and even jaw pain. The key is to be sure you are using the right approach and doing it according to your therapist or physician's specific directions or plans.