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Spinal decompression therapy aims to help patients who suffer from debilitating pain due to bulging, degenerating, or herniated discs. It can also be used for the pain management and treatment of many causes of sciatica, injured or diseased spinal nerve roots, and worn spinal joints.
Spinal decompression tables use computerized technology to create negative intradiscal pressure in the spine. A decompression table has two parts which move independently of one another. During setup, a spinal decompression technician chooses a decompression program that is best suited to the patient’s needs. The right program for an individual will depend on that person’s diagnosis as well as how they have responded to previous treatments.
As the decompression table stretches the spine, negative pressure is created within the spinal discs, which can result in the retraction or repositioning of the disc material, leading to pain relief. In addition, the lower pressure within the disc can cause an influx of healing nutrients to the disc, to promote further relief even when the patient is not on the table.
Candidates for Spinal Decompression Therapy
Anyone suffering from back pain related to bulging or herniated discs may be a candidate for decompression therapy, but only a doctor of chiropractic or other healthcare practitioner specializing in the musculoskeletal system and trained as a decompression technician can make this determination upon assessing a patient. While many patients come to spinal decompression therapy after they have failed to find relief from other treatments, including surgery, this is not a prerequisite.
- Provides pain relief
- Promotes healing of spinal disc tissue
- Helps restore normal spinal disc and joint alignment
- Relives pressure on spinal nerves
- Accelerates effectiveness of other healing treatments
As with any medical treatment, results for spinal decompression therapy will vary depending on the patient, the doctor, and the protocol used. Patients do not tend to feel a tremendous amount of relief after the first treatment. Rather, after several spinal decompression sessions, relief should be apparent. In some cases, patients may need to complete their entire treatment protocol before they feel complete relief from their symptoms.
Contraindications to this type of therapy
- Metastasized cancer
- Spinal fusion
- Broken vertebrae
- Patients with artificial discs or other spinal implant
- Spinal tumor