Do you suffer from back pain and symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or weakness? If the answer’s yes, then you may benefit from a treatment known as spinal decompression therapy.
What Is Spinal Compression?
Spinal compression means there’s pressure on your spinal cord. Your spinal cord contains many nerves, and when they’re compressed in some way, you can experience significant pain and discomfort. The causes of compression include:
What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy relieves pressure on your nerves and discs by gently stretching the spine, bringing damaged discs back into proper alignment so they can heal.
During the procedure, you lie on a motorized decompression table. As the table moves, your vertebrae stretch slightly, encouraging the bulging or leaking discs to retract and return to their normal position. Once back in position, the discs are no longer pressing on your nerves, which relieves your pain and neurological symptoms.
Decompression therapy is safe and many patients feel relief after just one or two sessions.
When Might I Need Spinal Decompression Therapy?
You might benefit from therapy if you have symptoms of spinal compression such as:
- Loss of sensation
- Radiating pain
- Muscle weakness
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition such as a bulging or herniated disc, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis, therapy might be appropriate–check with your doctor to determine your suitability.
What Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Feel Like?
Spinal decompression therapy should not be painful, and for most patients, it’s a relaxing experience. However, you will feel a slight stretching in your spine, which can cause some mild discomfort for some patients.
If you experience significant pain or discomfort, tell your doctor right away–other treatment options may be more appropriate.
What Are the Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy has many benefits.
- By relieving the pressure on your discs, decompression therapy can provide natural relief from pain and neurological symptoms.
- Once your discs are brought back into alignment, oxygen and other nutrient-rich fluids return to the area, speeding up the healing process naturally.
- Since decompression therapy is non-invasive, it’s a very low-risk procedure.
- There’s no need to prepare in advance for your treatment, and there’s no recovery time required.
- Spinal decompression therapy treats the problem at the source, reducing your need to rely on pain medication or other treatments to feel better.
What Are the Risks of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Since spinal decompression therapy is non-invasive, there are very few risks involved. Since therapy improves blood flow to the affected area and releases the muscles around your spine, you may feel some initial discomfort, but this should pass. It’s highly unlikely that therapy will make your condition worse.
That said, you shouldn’t get spinal decompression therapy if you are pregnant or if you’re suffering from a fracture, abdominal aneurysm, tumor, or advanced osteoporosis–increased blood flow can worsen your symptoms.
To minimize the risk of side effects during compression therapy, your doctor will perform a thorough examination to ensure you’re a suitable candidate. However, don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor before beginning treatment.
What Is Spinal Decompression Surgery?
Spinal decompression surgery is a “catch-all” term for procedures used to relieve pressure on compressed spinal nerves. If your doctor recommends spinal decompression surgery, they will often perform one or more of the following procedures:
- Spinal fusion: The doctor removes a damaged disc and joins the two adjacent vertebrae together.
- Laminectomy: A laminectomy involves removing bone spurs and parts of the vertebral arch of your spine.
- Discectomy: This procedure involves removing the portion of a damaged disc.
Since back issues often respond well to therapeutic treatments, surgery should be seen as a last resort.
Who Might Benefit From Spinal Decompression Surgery?
In most cases, surgery shouldn’t be the first line of treatment when dealing with a back problem, because it’s highly complex and carries substantial risks, including bleeding, nerve damage, and blood clots.
If you’re not feeling better after spinal decompression therapy, or your condition is worsening, surgical intervention may be something to consider.
Learn More About Spinal Decompression Therapy
While surgery is of course an option for some patients, in many cases, spinal decompression therapy is far more suitable for safe and effective relief from back pain in the long term.
Are you suffering from chronic back pain and want to know more about the benefits of spinal decompression therapy? Book a consultation with us today!