Spinal decompression is effective for relief of your back pain when the source of your pain comes from injuries to your discs. Decompression provides gentle stretching and motion to your discs, which helps to promote healing and rehydration of discs that are injured by either accidents or the normal wear and tear of our aging bodies. Patients often seek help for hip pain or leg pain (sciatica) when in actuality the pain is originating in the low back. The same goes for arm pain that may be coming from a patient’s neck.
A disc can be injured to varying extents. Sometimes, a disc becomes dehydrated and loses its height. This causes the sides of the disc to bulge, which can put pressure on nerves that exit your spine and travel to different areas of your body. Sometimes the sides of the disc actually get torn – probably the result of an accident or fall – and the insides of the disc protrude out onto the nerves exiting the spine, or even on the spinal cord itself. Whether the sides are bulging due to dehydration, or the sides are torn, causing leaking of the gel inside, the effect is often pressure on nerves that leave the spine and travel to different areas of the body. This causes either poor functioning of the muscle or organ that the nerve goes to, or it causes pain that seems to come from the area that the nerve comes from. Spinal stenosis is another condition that can be helped with decompression. Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal itself from either bone or the disc injuries we just talked about. The stretching of the spine helps stenosis in the same way that we described it helping bulging and herniated discs.
Spinal decompression creates a vacuum effect during the therapy by gently stretching and relaxing the herniated or bulging disc. During the stretching and relaxing of the disc that decompression provides, there are pressures generated that help suck in fluids and nutrients to the injured disc. Over a course of treatments, this helps rehydrate the discs, which in turn takes pressure off of the nerves that leave the spine and travel to other areas of the body.
Our spinal decompression therapy utilizes a specialized padded traction table to isolate the area that needs therapy. Whether it’s your low back or your neck, we can isolate that area so that you get the most benefit from your therapy. Using special computer software, the doctor tailors the decompression therapy to the specific needs of each patient. We generally start off at very gentle stretches, and we gradually increase the strength of the stretching over several session. This allows you to remain comfortable, while working up to stronger stretches.
There are many conditions that can be treated with spinal decompression therapy.