Lumbar traction is the process of applying a stretching force to the lumbar vertebrae through body weight, weights, and/or pulleys to distract individual joints of the lumbar spine. The word traction is a derivative of the Latin word "tractico", which means "a process of drawing or pulling, and various forms of spinal traction have been described, since the time of Hippocrates, for the relief of pain.
The lumbar spine is made up of five individual vertebrae which are numbered L1 to L5 and together they create the concave lumbar curvature in the lower back. Found along the body’s midline in the lumbar (lower back) region, the lumbar vertebrae make up the region of the spine inferior to the thoracic vertebrae in the thorax and superior to the sacrum and coccyx in the pelvis.These vertebrae carry all of the upper body’s weight while providing flexibility and movement to the trunk region. They also protect the delicate spinal cord and nerves within their vertebral canal.