The use of intermittent or sustained pressure (drawing or pulling) to distract joint surfaces – mostly spinal. Attempts to elongate the soft tissue structures around the joint.
Three stages of traction:
1) Neutralisation of pressure without separation – used for pain relief and prior to mobilisation
2) Separate joint surfaces and takes up ‘slack’ in ligament and joint capsule
3) Stretching of soft tissues to increase mobility
Traction of first metatarsophalangeal joint:
Indicated for restricted range of motion of first metatarsophalangeal joint – patient can continue this exercise at home.
Patient sitting on floor – leg extended, ankle at 90 degrees with feet under a chair or other suitable support. A length (30cm) of tubular gauze or some other material is looped around chair and strapped to proximal phalanx of hallux to suspend foot off the ground applies a traction force to first MPJ.