|With Health Insurance: $10-$75 Copay or 10%-50% Coinsurance Per Session||Without Health Insurance: $50-$350+ Per Session|
Spinal traction is a type of treatment in which a device or position is used to stretch the spine or surrounding tissue thereby relieving pressure or creating extra space for nerve endings.
Related articles: Physical Therapy, Back Surgery, Laser Spine Surgery, Health Insurance
- Traction may be offered in an outpatient rehabilitation setting by a physical therapist. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for a physical therapist typically consist of a copay of $10 -$75 per session or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. Physical therapy typically is covered by health insurance when medically necessary.
- For patients not covered by health insurance, physical therapy typically costs $50-$350 or more per session, depending on the length of the session, the service provided during the session and the provider.
- Some patients will be able to use a traction device system at home in place of or alongside sessions with a physical therapist. At-home traction devices can range from $15 - $2,000 or more, depending on the style and size and how sophisticated the device's features are. For example, the relatively simple foam and flannel Diskard Head Halter , which has an over-the-door pulley system costs $15, while the computerized MTD 4000 which comes with safety controls and multiple sensors and speed selections, costs $2,679.
- Some health insurers like Cigna consider home cervical and/or lumbar traction devices experimental, investigational or unproven and will not cover them for any indication. Others may only cover certain types of devices. For example, Anthem will cover an "over-the-door" home cervical traction device when deemed medically necessary. Patients with health insurers who do cover traction devices will typically pay a copay of 20%.
What should be included:|
- Well-designed studies have found the procedure to be ineffective for long-term relief, according to the Mayo Clinic , though some people may find it temporarily helpful for neck and back pain as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
- According to SpineUniverse , a back pain and spinal information site, prospective patients will be carefully evaluated first by a physical therapist, who can make decisions about the type of traction used, as well as the duration of treatment.
- The most commonly used types of traction include manual (in which traction is exerted by the therapist), inverted suspension (traction is exerted through the body weight of the patient), bed rest (traction is exerted using a pulley and weights) and motorized (traction is exerted by a motorized pulley).
- Treatment may be intermittent or run for up to 10 continuous minutes at a time.
- For additional pain relief, a patient may be advised to purchase nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen which cost about $5-$25, depending on the quantity and whether the patient buys a name brand or its generic equivalent.
Shopping for spinal traction:
- Many physical therapists offer discounted packages. For example, Joint Ventures Physical Therapy and Fitness in Massachusetts charges $70 for a half-hour session and$105 for an hour-long session, but offers packages that take $10 off the cost of each session.
- Others offer discounts to uninsured/cash-paying patients. ARC Physical Therapy in Illinois offers a 30% discount to cash-paying patients, as well as special waivers or discounts for patients undergoing financial hardship.
- Online retailers like IsokineticsInc.com often offer discounted prices for home equipment.
- The American Physical Therapy Association offers a physical therapist locator by zip code and area of specialization.
| Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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