Considering the amount of time we spend checking our phones and sitting at our computers, it makes sense that our necks are particularly prone to aches, pains, and overall stress. At-home methods like yoga for neck pain, acupressure mats, and herbal remedies are all great ways to alleviate tension and pressure, without having to take a trip to the chiropractor. Even better? Invest in your own neck stretcher and you can ease your aches and pains using cervical traction, the same method chiropractors and physical therapists use in their clinics.
Sean Cooney, board certified chiropractor and owner of RESPORT Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in Chicago, Illinois, describes cervical traction as “axial or long-wise stretching of the neck.” Chiropractors can do this by hand, but will often use neck traction devices, too. With a great neck stretcher, you can achieve this relief at home. Just note, if you do plan on using one of these devices on your own, make sure to consult with your chiropractor or healthcare provider to determine which is right for you, and how best to use it.
“At-home stretching devices attempt to decompress the joints by applying load to pull the head up away from the body with a sustained load,” Cooney explains. “Chiropractic adjustments utilize an applied load through a joint in a specific angle to try to gap the joints and restore normal range of motion to the joints.”
Read on to find our picks for the best neck stretchers, along with expert input on how to safely use these tools, and the different types of neck stretches you can do with them.