What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal Decompression therapy combines gentle traction of the spine with soothing vibration to take pressure off spinal discs. It is a safe, outpatient, non-invasive therapy that utilizes a table and gentle strapping to comfortably decompress the spine. The traction forces create a force called imbibition, a suction force, that aids the spinal discs in obtaining nutrients and hydration they desperately need during recovery.
The vibration component if extremely important and cannot be overlooked. This component helps to relax spasmed muscles and calm guarding structures (such as related muscles) to allow the traction forces to work more effectively.
There has been extensive research studying the validity and prescription of Spinal Decompression Therapy. Results to note include decreased recovery time, and decreased likelihood of surgical intervention.
What Are the Clinical Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy?
- Alleviates pain
- Helps reduce the need for pharmaceuticals
- Helps in the restoration of normal range of motion and physical function
- Easily applied
- Often makes surgical interventions unnecessary
Frequently Asked Questions
What is spinal decompression therapy?
Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive solution to herniated and bulging discs. It utilizes light stretching and vibration to safely and quickly increase blood flow to damaged spinal discs. The vacuum pressures created within the disc have been shown to absorb bulges and herniations over time.
What makes spinal decompression therapy different from traditional treatments?
Traditional treatment for herniated discs is rest, manual traction, and muscle strengthening to support the area. Spinal decompression adds a new facet to disc rehabilitation. By increasing blood flow to the area the injured discs can become re-hydrated and receive nutrients to heal.
What conditions can be treated with spinal decompression therapy?
Herniated and bulging discs, sciatica, radiculopathy (pinched nerves), spinal stenosis
How long does a treatment take?
The length of a treatment can vary depending on the type of injury, severity, age, and condition that is being treated. Treatments typically range from 15 - 30 minutes.
Are all decompression tables created equal?
NO! An integral component of spinal decompression is whole body vibration. Without this vibratory assistance, the spine stabilizing muscles may guard and tighten to protect the spine which unfortunately does not allow the traction forces to have maximum effect on the spinal disc.
Can you show me some scientific research to support spinal decompression therapy?
Absolutely, there are several relevant studies at this link alone:
Here’s another link:
How many treatments are needed?
This question is hard to answer as it varies greatly patient to patient. (There’s a lot of factors to consider – severity of the injury, age of the injury, age of the person, lifestyle, etc). With the accompanying exercises and chiropractic treatments the typical treatment plan could last from 5-20 appointments.
Is spinal decompression safe?
Of course! However, after treatment some patients may feel a little tender or sore which is completely normal. Please let us know regardless!
Should some be advised not to use decompression therapy?
There’s very few contraindications to spinal decompression. If you are pregnant or have a vertebra fracture we would explore alternatives. As well, advanced bone loss conditions would not be candidates for decompression.
- Herniated disc
- Bulging / protruding disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Radiculopathy (pinched nerves)
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