How can spinal decompression treatment help you?
While still relatively unknown, we do every so often have individuals presenting to our practice asking for spinal decompression therapy and whether or not it can help. We thought we would take this opportunity to discuss spinal decompression therapy so that you are aware of the many benefits that this form of treatment can have if you ever run into spinal problems in the future.
So what is spinal decompression therapy?
This treatment involves applying a gentle stretch or traction to the spinal joints using a mechanically assisted machine. The goals of such treatment are the enhance spinal mobility, reduce spinal related pressure, improve muscular tonicity, reduce pain and stiffness as well as much more. Spinal decompression therapy is non-surgical and does not pose any of the potential adverse risks associated with surgical decompression.
How Does Spinal Decompression Really Work?
- Reduces intradiscal pressure therefore relieving symptoms associated with disc bulges/herniations or “pinched nerves”
- Can assist with altering the position of the intervertebral disc between spinal joints
- Reduced discal pressure can lead to enhanced healing via nutrient dynamics
What Types Of Problems Can It Help With?
Spinal decompression therapy is an extremely effective and gentle type of treatment, suitable for most individuals. Particular cases of which people may see the most benefit include:
- Lower back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative joint disease (arthritis)
- Disc pathology (bulge, herniation)
- Facet syndrome
When Should You Not Have Spinal Decompression?
- During pregnancy (particularly if your practitioners table requires you to lie face down)
- Individuals who have suffered traumatic spinal injuries (fractures, dislocations, breaks)
- Individuals who suffer generalized hypermobility
- Individuals who have undergone spinal surgery, fusion or other types of procedures
If you’re concerned that spinal decompression is not suitable for you, feel free to call our Chiropractors via 1300 123 365 and discuss your clinical complaint.
Is There Evidence To Support Spinal Decompression?
Unfortunately to date there is a lack of clinical trials and treatment comparisons for spinal decompression. However, clinical observational reports suggest fantastic results from repeated spinal decompression therapy. Further research should be performed, comparing spinal decompression to treatments such as exercise as well as Chiropractic/Osteopathy/Physiotherapy techniques. Alternative study findings include:
- “Serial MRI of 20 patients treated with decompression showed 90% reduction of subligamentous nucleus herniation. Disc rehydration was also clinically indicated” Eyerman, Edward MD. Simple Pelvic Traction Gives Inconsistent Relief to Herniated Lumbar Disc Sufferers. Journal of Neuroimaging. Paper presented to the American Society of Neuroimaging, Orlando, Florida. 2-26-98.
- “86% of intervertebral disc patients acheived good to excellent improvement following decompression therapy” C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, and Vera Borgmeyer, RN, MA. Decompression, Reduction, and Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Lumbosacral Pain. American Journal of Pain Management Vol. 7 No. 2 April 1997.
- “84% of individuals remained pain-free up to 90 days post treatment” Gionis, Thomas MD; Groteke, Eric DC. Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression. Orthopedic Technology Review. 2003; 6 (5).
What Does A Spinal Decompression Session Involve?
Typically, individuals present for spinal decompression having suffered lower back complaints. There is no need to remove clothing during a session. All individuals are asked to lie on the mechanical decompression table, where a small strap is placed around the pelvis to ensure all movement is generated through the spine and not the pelvis. Various table models use a client lying face up or face down. You may receive treatment lieing face up or face down (dependant upon their table model and design). While the machine is working, a gentle rhythmic type motion and stretch will be felt in the spine.