The 6 Best Neck Stretchers for Pain Relief and Posture Fix

Neck traction, also known as cervical traction, is a popular and science-backed neck stretching method to relieve neck pain for anyone suffering from neck arthritis, herniated/bulging disc in the neck, neck strains, and cervical muscle spasms.
neck stretchers for neck traction at home

Traditionally performed by chiropractors, cervical traction can also be done at home using safe and effective neck traction devices.

These devices work by applying a gentle pulling force to the neck, creating space between the vertebrae. This can relieve pain, improve flexibility, and promote healing.

Plus, it’s way gentler on your wallet than those weekly appointments.

We’ve researched and found the top neck stretchers (cervical traction devices) – in 2024.

In a Hurry?

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top recommended neck stretcher devices in 2024.

Below you’ll find our full reviews and pros and cons.

Neck StretcherDevice TypePrice
ComforTrac Cervical Traction
Posture Pump
Stronger traction
$364 on Amazon
The Neck Hammock
Neck Sling
(Lay Down)
$49 on Amazon
The Cervical Posture Pump
Posture Pump
(Lay Down)
Stronger traction
From $149 at Posture Pump
15% off with code DAD15
RESTCLOUD Neck Stretcher
Orthopedic - Arched
(Lay Down)
$20 on Amazon
DMI Over Door
Over the Door
$25 at Walmart
Crabclaw Inflatable Collar
Neck Brace
$26 on Amazon

This post may contain affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.

Can Cervical Traction Devices Relieve Neck Pain?

This 2017 meta-analysis found that mechanical cervical traction significantly reduced neck pain – immediately after treatment and in the follow-up period.

For many people, neck traction equipment provides fast and drug-free neck pain relief, and faster recovery from neck injuries, including:

  • Cervical herniated and bulging disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Neck stiffness
  • Neck muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Cervical spine arthritis

Home neck traction units (and cervical pillows) gently stretch the spinal vertebrae and muscles.

This immediately relieves the pressure on the discs and the nerves.

Now everything is in place and the awful pain and stiffness can be dramatically reduced.

And all of this is done without medication and unnecessary surgeries.

How Does a Neck Stretcher Work? 

With cervical traction devices, the goal is to provide the opportunity for your neck muscles and pinched nerves to be released.

Tension is placed on the head to pull it up and away from the neck, stretching the muscles and ligaments around the vertebrae of the spine and expanding the space between the vertebrae.

Cervical Traction Types & The Best Neck Stretchers

You can choose from 5 types of neck traction home devices.

They can get you about the same results but they are somewhat different.

These include inflatable neck stretchers, orthopedic (arched) neck stretchers, over-the-door neck stretchers, neck traction slings, and cervical posture pumps.

1. Inflatable Neck Stretchers (Air Traction) 

inflatable neck traction device

Air neck traction devices (inflatable cervical collars) are basically inflated neck braces, that look like 3 travel pillows stacked together.

You secure them around your neck (great for neck posture as well) and use the pump to inflate them.

As the pillow gets filled with air, it straightens and takes the weight off your neck, while pushing down your shoulders.

It is fully adjustable which is key to its effectiveness.

As you use the pump to gradually raise the level of air to a comfortable stretch – your muscles relax and your discs are aligned and ready for rehydration.

You are also taking the pressure off your nerves and blood vessels.

Here’s how to use an inflatable neck puller collar:

how to use an inflatable neck traction collar

Inflatable Neck Traction Pros

  • Air neck traction devices are easy to use, require no assembly, and are completely portable.
  • You can easily take them anywhere and use them at the office or while traveling.
  • You can use them while sitting or lying down – any way you’d like.


  • Not all air neck traction devices are made of high-quality materials. One unit I had started leaking after I’d used it only 6 times, so you really have to know which one is the best.
  • They can apply a bit too much pressure on your TMJ since the pillow inflates around the jaw as well.

 The Best Inflatable Neck Stretcher

The Crabclaw inflatable neck traction device ($26 on Amazon) helps align your cervical spine, correct your posture, and stretch your spine and neck muscles, which alleviates neck pain and helps heal bulging discs, pinched nerves, neck arthritis, and degenerative discs.

We also like the unique safety feature which allows you to quickly deflate the device if you accidentally inflate it too much.

Dr. Adam J. Story, a chiropractor with 24 years of experience, recommends inflatable neck braces for his patients because they are less aggressive and perfect for people who need neck support after a mild injury.

2. Over-the-Door Neck Traction Kits

over door cervical traction unit

Over-the-door neck traction devices require, as hinted in the name, a door.

They require some assembly because you have to place them over the back of a door.

The neck puller device requires you to place straps around the back of your head and your chin (see the picture above), which then attach to a counterweight.

The counterweight is suspended over a door using a pulley system.

Over the Door Neck Traction Pros

  • An over-the-door device is fairly easy to use once you’ve placed it correctly and made sure the door is solid.
  • You can sit comfortably on a chair and read something while traction works its magic.


  • Over-the-door devices are less portable than inflatable neck devices. You’ll need a solid door and a chair to use it and you can’t lie down and relax.
  • It can take some time to find the right stretch and your chin may take the brunt of the traction force.
  • But, it still gives you the same benefits and if you use it correctly it can bring you a lot of relief.

The Best Over the Door Traction Device 

The DMI Over-the-Door Neck Traction Kit ($25 at Walmart) is made with a sturdy metal bracket, is safe to use and the calibrated weight bag allows you to vary the pressure on your neck (2-20 pounds) for quick and effective neck pain relief.

The adjustable head fits most people.

It is a cost-effective cervical traction unit and comes with everything you need, though we recommend you check with your physician for the amount of counterweight and usage time for your specific needs.

3. The Neck Hammock (Neck Traction Sling)

the original neck hammock

Neck Hammocks have gained popularity in recent years, probably because they are simple to use, they work (if you know how to use them), and are relatively low cost.

The neck hammock creates neck traction by pulling your head away from your shoulders.

This makes your neck muscles relax and relieves the pressure off them effectively.

It also slightly expands the space around your neck vertebrae, which allows for more blood flow (and oxygen!) to the area – bringing pain-relieving and healing components – faster and better.

neck hammock review

The only con is, that you have to move a bit forward on the floor to start feeling the traction.

Through our research, the Original Neck Hammock ($49 on Amazon) works well for cervical pinched nerves.

DIY Neck Hammock

A lot of people have asked us whether it’s possible to make your own neck hammock.

The answer is yes. All you’ll need is a good towel and a rope.

But we want to warn you: you have to do this the right way, since any “malfunction” may cause you to bang your head on the floor. We recommend buying a professional neck hammock and not taking a chance.


  1. Fold your towel three times to narrow the length and width and to create a base for your head.
  2. Create two holes on each side of the towel to create a loop, and slide the rope between the two holes.
  3. Your neck hammock is ready. Now you need to find a sturdy base to tie the rope to, like a doorknob.
  4. Once you’re done, just rest your head on the hammock.

Here’s a video with a good demonstration:

4. Cervical Posture Pumps (Disc Hydrators)

neck posture pumps

Posture pumps are usually a bit pricier, but they can be worth their price when it comes to neck pain healing and recovery.

Posture pump units are well-built and are heavy-duty pieces of quality durable medical equipment.

They simulate cervical traction performed in a clinic and are nearly identical as far as the quality of treatment goes.

  • Posture pumps are larger, provide stronger traction, and are made with durable material. They are light and portable and come in a handy carrying case.
  • They require no assembly and have a softer, more comfortable head pad and straps.

You simply lie down, adjust the little knob/posts that secure the base of your skull, and place the strap on your forehead. Then you just pump up the pressure and tighten.

comfortrac pressure pump

Always start slowly and carefully

Cervical Posture Pump Pros

  • Posture pumps are usually sturdier, made with more durable materials, and work with no problems for years.
  • They don’t use pillows that can leak air and they don’t need a door to support them.
  • They all have a handy carrying bag that protects them if you want to take them with you anywhere.
  • They don’t put pressure on your jaw or anywhere other than where it should be.
  • Portable and fit for travel


  • These units are less portable than the air neck traction devices, and they take up a bit more room. You can only use them lying down.
  • The price is higher, but in my opinion – well worth it. Especially if you consider the money you are saving on dozens of chiropractor treatments.

The Best Posture Pumps 

Here are our two most recommended posture pumps for 2024:

1. ComfortTrac Cervical Traction

comfortrac neck traction at home

The ComforTrac posture pump is a durable and sturdy neck traction device, easy to use, and comfortable, and many users report immediate results after using it.

This top-of-the-line cervical traction kit supplies up to 50 pounds of force and has an adjustable incline angle of 10, 15, or 20 degrees.

See our detailed Comfortrac Cervical Traction Review

Posture Pump Alternative

If you’re not sure about posture pumps, consider using an inversion table.

See our full comparison between the posture pump and the inversion table, to decide what’s best for your needs.

2. Saunders Cervical Traction Home Unit

saunders cervical traction review

The Saunders has a handheld pump with a pressure relief valve for easy adjustment of traction force, and it applies up to 50 pounds of traction force and has adjustable angles for a personalized experience.

See our full review of the Saunders Cervical Traction.

We also recommend…The Cervical Posture Pump

See our detailed review of the Cervical Posture Pump

5. Orthopedic Neck Stretchers

chiropractic neck stretcher

Arched neck stretchers are similar to the popular orthopedic back stretchers but designed to stretch the neck at various levels manually.

When you lie on it, you can choose from 4 adjustable settings (to match your comfort level and pain level).

It matches the curvature of your cervical spine and stretches it to a correct posture while giving your neck a good manual stretch.

It only requires 5 minutes of daily treatment to get long-term results such as neck stiffness relief, migraine relief, and cervical decompression for bulging/herniated discs.

And the price is affordable too.

Best Orthopedic Neck Stretcher

Our top recommendation in 2024 goes to RESTCLOUD Neck Stretcher, which can support up to 330 lbs and has a foam cushion that protects your spine.

It costs less than $20 on Amazon.

Can a Neck Stretcher Help Your Upper Back Hump?

Neck stretchers are designed to alleviate neck pain and improve posture. They may be beneficial for conditions such as forward rounding shoulders, also known as kyphosis, and neck hump or dowager’s hump.

They can help by temporarily restoring the natural curvature of the cervical spine, which relieves tension and stress and improves blood circulation. And if you use them consistently, you may experience long-lasting results.

However, if you suffer from a severe case of kyphosis, you may not experience significant results. A neck stretcher should be an add-on to regular exercises to strengthen and lengthen your neck muscles.

Cervical Traction Devices Side Effects

Generally, performing cervical traction is safe, but remember that results differ for different people.

The treatment should be pain-free.

If you feel pain, you are overdoing it and this aggressiveness may lead to further damage and pain.

However,  neck decompression is not recommended if you’ve already had neck surgery.

Do not overdo traction because it can cause more harm than good, and overstretch your neck.

We recommend following instructions carefully and asking your doctor for treatment time and frequency.

Possible side effects of neck traction are headache, dizziness, and nausea. If you feel any of these, stop treatment immediately.

Consult with your doctor before you start treatment if you have:

  • Recent injury in the neck area
  • A bone infection
  • A known cervical tumor
  • Osteoporosis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cervical instability
  • Spinal hypermobility

How to Do Neck Traction at Night

If your sleep position mostly causes your neck pain and comes usually at night or in the morning – a neck traction pillow can be very helpful.

Cervical pillows are designed to provide support and help maintain the natural curve of the neck, which can reduce discomfort and improve mobility.

They work by providing gentle traction and support to the neck, and many users have reported relief from neck pain and improved sleep quality.

See our post about how to choose the best pillow for neck pain.

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team


Intermittent Cervical Traction for Treating Neck PainA Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, SPINE. 42(13):959–965, JULY 1ST, 2017, doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001948

International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, v. 22, issue 5, p. 4-11

Meital James

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 29 comments