I have been getting traction for sciatica that just started up a few weeks ago. It seems to be helping but it always gives me a headache. How long should I put up with the headache pain in order to get relief from the leg pain?
Please make sure your therapist knows you're having headaches. There may be a simple reason for this such as head and neck position during the lumbar traction. Headache as a side effect of traction is common in a small number of people.
Most of the time the effect is not serious or long-lasting. You shouldn't really have to have pain or discomfort in another area of your body to help the problem area heal. Your therapist should review your case carefully. He or she will also help you weigh the pros and cons of traction versus other treatment.
Annette Agnes Harte, BSc, et al. Current Use of Lumbar Traction in the Management of Low Back Pain: Results of a Survey of Physical Therapists in the United Kingdom. In Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2005. Vol. 86. No. 6. Pp. 1164-1169.