Spinal traction is a time-honored method for the treatment of disc protrusion, degenerative disc disease, and joint dysfunction. Effective treatment is not as easy or as simple to administer as it may appear. Many variations of technique exist, some of questionable value. It must be emphasized that spinal traction is only a part of the total management-treatment regimen, which includes other forms of physical therapy. Without a total management program, spinal traction, like many other empiric methods, has little chance of long-range benefit. Consequently, physicians prescribing spinal traction must be prepared to apply proved diagnostic methods and other treatment methods.