Most helpful critical review
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Gimmicky rather than actually helpful for any REAL neck problems
on December 28, 2010
I have a long standing neck injury that benefits greatly from using traction to "pull my neck bones apart" as they compress on nerves and disks, creating lots of unpleasant sensations... Traction works wonders and even adds a full inch to my height (what I should be actually, if not for the injury)... This thing not only smells icky (like oil-based product that SHOULD dissipate someday?), but it doesn't do the job IMO. Yeah, it stretches your neck out, but uncomfortably... It yanks your chin up but doesn't do what REAL traction does... Real traction pulls from just below the ears and the base of the skull and pushes against the shoulders to correctly pull on the bones back into position to release compression... but yanking your chin up in the air and your head slightly back does not accomplish that... Sure, it might be okay if your entire problem is tight muscles (unless it makes them worse by further aggravating strained rather than simply tight ones from tension?) and it DOES force you to hold your head up straighter above the shoulders, which is a GOOD thing and might help a bit for those with that problem... It DOES hold its air for a full 24 hours (yeah, I tested it) and it releases quickly if one gets weirded out by the feeling of your neck being squeezed lightly and upwards... but it's NOT EFFECTIVE for someone with actual neck problems beyond a little stiffness from overuse or lousy posture that puts your head too far in front of your shoudlers, forcing your neck to hold all the weight (which is what most folks with neck pain's problem typically is)... All in all, the product isn't badly constructed (for the price especially) but remember that a REAL, portable traction machine costs $500 and is more complicated to use (which is why I thought I'd try this thing rather than drag my portable unit out... and DON'T BUY those horrifically dangerous portable traction units that hang from a door unless you relish accidentally hanging yourself!! If you need traction, see a specialist and buy a reputable, SAFE traction unit... They cost $$ but it's better than harming or killing yourself... Bottom line, this is seems SAFE but only really useful for those with posture issues or muscle tension from gritting their teeth & stress that are the root cause of their neck & shoulder pain... If you jut your head forward so that more than half of it is in front of your shoulders or find yourself constantly lifting your shoulders slightly when under stress, THAT'S YOU...