Cervical traction is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time and has been proven to be helpful and effective in alleviating neck pain, headaches, improving posture, and decreasing stress. I’m a fan of traction and we utilize it in our office as well in our home care recommendations.
Many “at home” neck pain relief devices focus on cervical traction a key element in our how they help and the Neck Hammock promises that. As a chiropractor, people bring me devices to check out and they ask about things they’ve seen on TV and social media. They’re seeking non-drug ways to improve their spine and they want to make sure they’re doing the right thing.
I love that.
I want to help people who want help. I want to help people improve their posture and, through improving their posture, help them get and stay healthier by maximizing their nervous system’s ability to function. I’ve had people bring in their “as seen on TV” purchases for me to check out with the disclaimer, “If you don’t like it, tell me and I’ll send it back. I’ve got 30 days to return it.”
One of my patients mentioned the Neck Hammock. They’d seen it all over social media and thought this was going to be their potential fix to alleviate neck pain and tension between visits but figured they’d run it by me first. Of course, I’d never heard of it before but started seeing ads for it everywhere after it was mentioned to me.
My patient and discussed the benefits of cervical traction (like I listed above) and I placed my order via Amazon. I may have ordered from the wrong reseller, but it took weeks to arrive. It’s about $20, which isn’t bad and the quality of the product looked like it was at least in that range.
My Neck Hammock Arrives…
Once I opened the package I was surprised that the Neck Hammock did not include any instructions on how to use it. There’s a picture on the front of where it goes, but I would think the company would, at a minimum, show a few diagrams on how to properly set it up instead of just more promos about the benefits of cervical traction.
Higher level instructions would have been a link to a YouTube video not promoting the benefits of traction, but rather explaining how to set the device up. The trickiest part is finding a location for the base, so you can actually have your head hanging a few inches of the ground.
The part where you rest your head and the straps seem to be of good quality. The clips appear to be very cheap. With regular use, I would believe those would be parts to break or wear our first, but they would be easy to replace if you really got to that point.
My Concerns Seem To Be Well-Founded…
Even checking out the device online before ordering, I was suspicious that it would really only be a “neck hammock” and not a “neck traction” device as advertised. I ordered anyway, but still had 2 primary concerns:
1) How will I hook it to a door?
2) How will the device pull the head and neck to provide the cervical traction?
How Does It Hook To The Door?
As the video below shows – hooking it to a door that will provide the right height and angle requires some luck with your available surroundings. The provided strap is very unclear where it’s supposed to go. It’s too small to wrap around the door and the other straps are too long for it to go directly on a doorknob.
After Googling help (again, no instructions from the company), people mentioned to place it on the doorknob on the other side of the door and then close the door. This did not change the length scenario. Even if I had a perfect height place to hook the Neck Hammock, I still didn’t understand how traction would be generated.
How Will I Achieve Cervical Traction?
I mean, that’s the whole point of this thing, right? You’ll see with the device we recommend for cervical traction, there’s no doubt your head and neck will be stretched. You’ll feel it pull and you’ll notice a change afterward. So much so that you’ll need to be careful not to apply too much traction.
That’s not the case with the Neck Hammock. It’s relaxing, for sure. We could not get it to actually pull on the head and neck in any useful fashion. I would believe that people using the Neck Hammock would feel relaxed afterwards because your head is “floating” there, which does take some pressure off your neck.
However, I don’t see it as a cervical traction device that can deliver on all the many benefits of that therapy. You just can’t get enough force to pull on the head and neck without the device pulling out from under your head and smacking against the door.
I wasn’t a fan of the Neck Hammock, but I am a fan of cervical traction. We have the Neck Wedge available in our office or via Amazon, which is a gentle way to have traction and work on your cervical curve.
Alternatively, this Over-The-Door Traction Device will absolutely provide cervical traction. Just start slow and discontinue with any pain starts. Soreness is usually ok and expected, but no sharp pain while using it. Start with just a few minutes and build up.
You may not even know for sure how you’re going to feel until the next day, so don’t overdo it.
If you’ve got a device you want me to check out, feel free to contact me and let me know. I’m happy to help! Better posture, better health. You can do it!
Here’s My Video Review From YouTube: