Why is non-surgical spinal decompression so effective? 

Updated: Sep 12

Approximately 80% of all individuals living in this country will eventually experience some level of back pain during their lifetimes. A good portion of these people will further develop chronic back pain that persists throughout their entire life. Anyone who does develop back pain will know that it can be very difficult to accomplish daily tasks, and it might even be hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Some treatments for chronic back pain attempt to simply suppress the symptoms with painkillers and medications, and sometimes as a last resort surgery will be considered. However, even that often fails to completely resolve mobility issues and the discomfort associated with chronic back pain. One of the best modern approaches to dealing with chronic back pain has now become spinal decompression therapy, and this is often used as the centerpiece of a comprehensive program of treatment for chronic back pain.

What exactly is spinal decompression therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy consists of using a computer-guided mechanical device to implement controlled cycles of stretching and then relaxing movements, which are designed to increase the space between the vertebrae of the spinal column. These spaces have a tendency to become narrow or they can even become damaged or moved out of place when any kind of spinal misalignment occurs. Spinal decompression therapy is much like spinal traction in that it addresses the same issues in your back, relieving vertebrae which have become too compressed in the spinal column.

However, one difference between the two procedures is that spinal decompression provides a cyclic stretching and relaxation kind of approach which prevents the occurrence of muscle spasms, while discs are being urged back into their correct position. As the spaces between vertebrae become wider, spinal decompression therapy helps the healing process by drawing nutrient-rich fluid back into the area of the damaged spinal discs.

Generally speaking, any spinal decompression system will have sensors that measure and monitor all responses from your body, and these help to customize the force which gets applied to your spine. Anytime the sensors detect muscle tension, the force will be automatically adjusted to a lower level, so that the muscles tend to relax, and better results can be achieved.

How negative pressure promotes spinal healing

There are some back conditions which cannot be corrected without invoking the power derived from negative pressure. Physical therapy, spinal manipulation, and traction can all help to relieve pressure on the discs, but they do not provide the negative pressure necessary for a successful repositioning of the spine.

Spinal decompression therapy works to gradually stretch the spine out and reposition it. This slow, gradual treatment prevents your body from engaging in a ‘lockdown’ response response which causes your back muscles to stiffen up. The lockdown response is the body’s natural reaction and it is invoked to prevent injury when any kind of pressure gets applied to the spine. Spinal decompression bypasses t protective reflex, thereby relieving all the discs and the spine itself from any excess pressure.

The safety factor of spinal decompression

In the vast majority of cases, spinal decompression therapy is completely safe and usually extremely effective in the treatment of chronic back pain. This can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from chronic back pain, because it means they won’t have to consider surgery as an option. Most patients feel a gentle stretching action of their muscles during a session, and this actually feels rather pleasant.

Very few patients report any kind of discomfort or pain during a session of spinal decompression. That being said, not everyone is an ideal candidate for the procedure, for example those with significant osteoporosis or some forms of cancer. Other individuals who are not recommended for spinal decompression therapy are those who have had a history of spinal fusion, or females who are pregnant.

Before initiating any kind of spinal decompression therapy program, a thorough review of a patient’s medical history will be conducted to make sure they are a good candidate for the process. During this consultation, the patient will generally find out the severity of their spinal misalignment, and will receive some idea of how many sessions it might take to correct. Each of the sessions will last between 30 and 45 minutes, and most patients experience at least some relief even after just one session.

Conditions which can be treated with spinal decompression therapy

There are a number of different conditions which could possibly be treated by spinal decompression, including all the following:

  1. spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal canal

  2. bulging or herniated discs

  3. facet syndrome

  4. sciatica or other conditions involving nerve impingement

  5. degenerative disc disease.

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