Non-surgical spinal decompression is a type of traction therapy that can help relieve back pain by gently stretching the spine. This stretching changes the position and force of the spine and takes pressure off the spinal discs. Bulging or herniated discs may go back into place taking pressure off spinal structures and nerves, which promotes movement of oxygen, water, and fluids to the discs so they can heal.
The goal of spinal decompression is to provide pain relief by healing disc conditions with effective, non-surgical treatment.
The benefits of spinal decompression therapy are many, but may include a reduction in pain, rehydration of spinal discs, reduction in disc protrusion size, decreased inflammation, increased flexibility and range of motion, pain elimination or reduction, improvement in functional abilities, and a decreased likelihood of surgery.
Although each person will experience a spinal decompression session a bit differently, there are a few things that you can expect to happen during your session. You will be asked to lay down on a lumbar decompression table that uses motorized traction to reposition the spine. Your chiropractor will likely fit a harness around your trunk and pelvis and then control the movement of the lower portion of the table while the upper portion remains motionless. Spinal decompression sessions rarely hurt, although you may feel a pressure or pulling sensation. The table has sensors that can tell when your muscles are starting to resist or become tense. This allows the chiropractor to adjust the amount of pressure needed to get results. Most sessions take approximately 30 minutes, and you will likely need more than one session to reap the full benefits of the procedure.
The success rate for spinal decompression is roughly 80 percent. Many patients begin feeling a relief in pain within the first week, but how severe your pain is, how long you have been experiencing symptoms, and what condition is causing your pain can all impact the amount of time needed to see results.
Most patients experience no side effects at all. Some patients experience a dull, achy soreness after the first few treatments as the body becomes accustomed to being decompressed and stretched. Many describe this as being similar to doing a workout routine after having not exercised for a while.
In many cases this treatment is safe for patients that have had spinal surgery. However, if the back surgery involved surgical fusion, screws, rods, or other types of hardware, spinal decompression may not be used. Your chiropractor will be able to determine if spinal decompression therapy is appropriate for you.
Some patients may already be experiencing pain before their treatment, so they may experience some discomfort during stretching. However, the procedure itself is not painful. Many people compare this treatment to massage therapy.
With a few exceptions, spinal decompression therapy is effective and safe. Most patients report the mild stretching as feeling good. However, treatment is not recommended for people with some types of cancer, those who have had spinal fusion, pregnant women, and those with significant osteoporosis.
It’s no secret that back pain can make life difficult, but you don’t have to suffer. We have a variety of treatment methods to address your back pain safely and non-invasively. If you believe spinal decompression therapy may be right for you, or you’d like additional information, contact us today. Our trained, compassionate staff will be happy to assess your specific needs and walk you through your treatment options.