If you are suffering from lingering back or neck pain secondary to a damaged or degenerated disc, you know too well how disruptive the condition can be. Chances are you might now be able to think of much else other than finding quick relief.
Increasingly, many people are turning to modern spinal decompression therapy to treat their chronic back pain or neck pain, as well as other associated symptoms. This type of specific traction therapy that’s applied to the spine has several benefits. For instance:
- It creates a negative intradiscal pressure to promote re-positioning or retraction of bulging or herniated disc material.
- Spinal decompression creates increased motion along with lower pressure in the disc that will result in an influx of healing nutrients and hydration into the disc.
- Many patients will get a sense of pain relief and tissue relaxation while on our decompression equipment, even within the first few sessions.
If you are considering this type of treatment, here’s all you need to know to help you decide if it is the right option for you.
Spinal decompression therapy is a painless, safe, and effective treatment not just for back pain but for other conditions as well, including:
- Sciatica (pain, weakness, numbness and/or tingling that extends down the leg)
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Posterior facet syndrome (worn spinal joints)
- Conditions causing inflamed spinal nerve roots
During the procedure, you are fully clothed and our staff will fit a harness around your trunk and another one on your pelvis at specific points (for lumbar decompression). For cervical decompression, you will place your head in a harness that contacts specific points at the back of your head and a strap to keep your head stable. You will lie face up on the computer-controlled table while the staff place supports under your knees for comfort. Our doctors will then enter specific settings and customise the treatment tailored to your specific needs.
Treatment on the decompression machine will generally last around 15-20 minutes with multiple cycles of computer-controlled traction therapy
and relaxation. The number of sessions needed and duration of time needed on decompression will vary from case to case, but most patients will start to experience noticeable benefits within a couple of weeks and significant improvements in 1-2 months.
After your decompression session is finished, our well-trained staff will help you off of the table and lead you to a treatment bay where they will use one of our imported high-frequency massage instruments to relax your muscles and help to rehydrate your discs before you see the doctor.
Most patients undergoing decompression therapy with us will also combine treatment with our doctors of chiropractic, that will help to mobilise fixated or degenerated joints and surrounding tissues. This will decrease pain faster and allow proper movement to facilitate long-term recovery. Depending on your case, you may also undergo other types of treatment before or after the procedure as indicated. Some of the other therapies you might also have concurrently include:
While spinal decompression therapy is a very useful procedure for many conditions, it is not for everyone. Our doctors will evaluate each person in detail before determining if they are eligible for the procedure. If you have any of the following, then spinal decompression therapy may not be right for you.
- Spinal tumor
- Advanced osteoporosis
- Spinal fracture
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
- Spinal fusion (with implants)
- Failed back surgery
- Spinal infection
- Severe spinal stenosis
- Unstable spondylolisthesis
- Conditions that compromise the spine’s integrity
Surgical spinal decompression is another alternative to treating certain types of pain or symptoms caused by slipped discs. Generally, we contend that this treatment option is best as a last resort if conservative measures are unsuccessful, or if non-surgical spinal decompression in contraindicated in your particular case. If it is determined that your case is not within our treatment means, or conservative measures have proven unsuccessful, our doctors will refer you out for orthopaedic management.
Cases with severe or sudden loss of strength to the legs or arms, loss of bowel or bladder control, or spinal areas with intense pain and heat coming from the area should seek out medical attention right away.
Author: Dr. Michael Bryant