Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
WebMD defines non-surgical spinal decompression as follows:
“… a type of motorized traction that may help relieve back pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. That changes the force and position of the spine. This will take pressure off the spinal disks, which are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine.”
The general premise behind this form of treatment is that herniated and bulging discs will retract if pressure to the affected area is minimized. This also minimizes the pressure on nerves and other related structures that are causing pain. Healing can begin to take place as nutrients, oxygen and water are allowed to reach the discs.
The American Spinal Decompression Association describes non-surgical Spinal Decompression as follows:
“…a revolutionary new technology used primarily to treat disc injuries in the neck and in the low back. This treatment option is very safe and utilizes FDA cleared equipment to apply distraction forces to spinal structures in a precise and graduated manner. Distraction is offset by cycles of partial relaxation. This technique of spinal decompression therapy, that is, unloading due to distraction and positioning, has shown the ability to gently separate the vertebrae from each other, creating a vacuum inside the discs that we are targeting. This ‘vacuum effect’ is also known as negative intra-discal pressure.”
The therapy produces minute changes in the discs with each treatment. And, after 4-6 weeks, the patient normally achieves very positive results.
Spinal Decompression Treatment
There are now a number of different machines being utilized in non-surgical spinal decompression treatment. Some are more sophisticated than others but they will all generally achieve the same results. Here is a picture of the latest technology being used by chiropractors:
The ASDA describes the treatment methodology as follows:
“For the low back, the patient lies comfortably on his/her back or stomach on the decompression table, with a set of nicely padded straps snug around the waist and another set around the lower chest. For the neck, the patient lies comfortably on his/her back with a pair of soft rubber pads behind the neck. Many patients enjoy the treatment, as it is usually quite comfortable and well tolerated.”
WebMD expands on the description of the ASDA and describes the treatment like this:
“You are fully clothed during spinal decompression therapy. The doctor fits you with a harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You either lie face down or face up on a computer-controlled table. A doctor operates the computer, customizing treatment to your specific needs. Treatment may last 30 to 45 minutes and you may require 20 to 28 treatments over five to seven weeks. Before or after therapy, you may have other types of treatment, such as:
• Electrical stimulation (electric current that causes certain muscles to contract)
• Ultrasound (the use of sound waves to generate heat and promote healing)
• Heat or cold therapy”
The treatment process is completely non-invasive and must less traumatic to the body than Surgical Spinal Decompression. Overall, the therapy achieves outstanding results with the treatment of the following:
- degenerative disc disease
- bulging and herniated discs
- leg pain
- radiating arm pain
- pinched nerves
- other facet syndromes.
Chiropractors are highly trained in this form of therapy and take extra precautions to be sure that it is a proper form of therapy given the condition of the patient. Contact a Charleston chiropractor for an immediate consultation if you are experiencing low back pain or other forms of back pain. And, be sure to see a chiropractor about this form of treatment before undergoing a surgical procedure. This is much better for the body and much less expensive than surgical procedures.
Here is a video demonstrating a patient undergoing Spinal Decompression Therapy: