5 Things To Know About Spinal Decompression Treatment

Updated on April 12, 2022
Sciatica or sciatic nerve inflammation, lower back pain. Woman with sciatic nerve pain in her lower back.

Back pain can make it difficult to move around, making going about your daily routine challenging. If you have persistent back pain, you may have a spinal condition. Individuals who’ve been suffering from constant episodes of back or neck pain due to herniated or degenerative spinal discs or any spinal condition can choose from various treatment options available nowadays. 

As advancements in the medical field continue to improve, you might’ve heard about spinal decompression therapy, which involves the mechanical stretching of the spine by a chiropractor. The non-surgical treatment has the potential to reduce disc-related pressure, increase blood flow to the spine, and promote long-term healing. 

If persistent back pain interferes with your daily routine at home or work, it’s time to learn more about spinal decompression therapy. As a good start, here are five things you should know about the procedure:

Should You Undergo Spinal Decompression Therapy? 

The vertebrae, ligaments, and spinal discs that keep the spine flexible are responsible for supporting the body. Once you end up with injuries or degeneration, it can trigger pain. Generally, most may experience discomfort due to the compression in the spine. Spinal decompression treatment may alleviate the pain by reducing the pressure.  

Conditions That May Benefit From Spinal Decompression Treatment

Some of the conditions that may benefit from spinal decompression treatment include the following:

  • A bulging disc, which is when the cushion between the vertebrae protrudes 
  • Degenerative disc disease is a spinal condition in which the cushion between the vertebrae wears out.
  • Pinch nerves are caused by nerve compression, resulting in pain, numbness, or tingling.
  • Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve is damaged.
  • A herniated disc, in which a section of a disc pushes on a nerve

How Does Spinal Decompression Treatment Work?

If you’re planning on getting spinal decompression treatment, it’s crucial to know the basics. The therapy utilizes the spinal traction principle, which chiropractors and osteopaths perform. The goal of the treatment is to create the best possible healing environment for deteriorated or damaged discs. The procedure may reduce disc pressure, allowing vital nutrients to pass through and aid in the healing process.

Another objective of spinal decompression treatment is to achieve a state of negative pressure between the discs. This may help reposition any bulging, slipping, or misplaced discs.

In most cases, a patient can go through the procedure with clothes on as the chiropractor places a harness over the clothes around the pelvic region. Once the harness is in position, the patient can rest on the table facing up or down. The chiropractor uses a computer to facilitate the treatment and make necessary adjustments to meet the patient’s special requirements.

Although the treatment is generally gentle and relaxing, cases involving significant trauma to the discs might trigger mild discomfort during the first few sessions. If you’re starting to feel uncomfortable during a session, a safety switch allows you to stop the treatment once you find the discomfort unbearable. 

The chiropractor will also determine the number of treatments necessary to ensure the best results. 

Benefits Of Spinal Decompression Therapy

Anyone can end up with back pain. Most people suffer from back pain due to physical demands at work, especially if they stay in a seated position or do physically demanding jobs for long hours. If you overlook spinal cord compression for too long, it might progress to disc degeneration and other conditions resulting in chronic discomfort.

The non-invasive nature of spinal decompression treatment is one of the key factors that makes it a viable option for many patients. It relieves back pain by releasing pressure and tension. Unlike medications or surgery, the treatment has the potential to address the source of the pain rather than conceal the symptoms.

Some of the benefits include: 

  • As mentioned earlier, the non-surgical treatment makes it a preferred option since patients will no longer go through a lengthy recovery period. After the treatment, a patient can resume normal activities or work.
  • It reduces pain and tension caused by spinal compression.
  • It’s a versatile treatment option for back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, sciatica, or herniated disc.
  • Spinal decompression therapy aims to potentially provide long-term results for patients suffering from back pain and improve their quality of life. Although it would require ongoing or several treatment options, it may provide lasting relief.

What Happens After A Spinal Decompression Treatment?

As a non-surgical procedure, spinal decompression treatment doesn’t have a recovery period. Fortunately, most patients are able to resume their normal activities or work following treatment.

Depending on the case, most patients undergo several spinal decompression treatments in a week, which clearly shows that there’s not much rest associated with the procedure. Generally, patients may start to notice minimal improvements after the sessions. Although some might see improvement after a few sessions, some might need to undergo five or even six sessions before experiencing significant back or neck discomfort. 

Final Thoughts  

Spinal decompression treatment may be worth considering as a non-surgical alternative to various conventional modes of treatment for back or neck pain. Although some patients may experience immediate and long-term pain relief, the procedure may not be appropriate for everyone. If you’d like to learn about the procedure, consult your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate.

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