Medically speaking, traction is the slow pulling of an injured body part as treatment. Traction has historically been most useful in aligning fractured bones, though experts have begun to use it to treat a variety of issues. There are two types of traction, skin and skeletal, and both encompass a range of techniques. Though traction has many possible benefits, it also carries inherent risks and can cause dangerous complications.
Of the two types of traction, skin traction is the less invasive. Depending on the technique, doctors use bandages, splints, tapes, or braces to secure the skin near a fracture or joint. They then fasten weights or elastic devices to these tools to slowly pull the affected body part into the correct position. Experts have historically used skin traction when soft tissues like muscles and tendons need repair, though its uses have become more varied in recent years.
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