Spinal Decompression: What is It and Who Benefits From It?
Perhaps you’ve heard of spinal decompression therapy, and how it can benefit you if you’ve been struggling with chronic back pain, especially in your lower back. But what is spinal decompression, and who should consider it? Could you possibly benefit from spinal decompression therapy?
If chronic back pain is a constant battle for you, spinal decompression therapy may be for you. Of course, there are many therapies available, and your chiropractor can help you decide which course of treatment is best for you, but spinal decompression may be the right option to alleviate your pain.
A Non-Surgical Option
One of the main reasons to choose spinal decompression? There is no surgery involved, and no strong painkillers needed. Just like other chiropractic therapies and adjustments, many have found relief from their lower back pain in spinal decompression without having to go under the knife, and without the lengthy recovery time that follows a surgery.
What a Spinal Decompression Session Looks Like
Spinal decompression is a procedure that involves a motorized traction on a special table called a lumbar decompression table. It gently stretches your spine, changing both the force and the position of the spine and relieving pressure. The upper part of the table remains still, while the lower part of the table moves to allow the spine to stretch.
Just how much “pull” is there? What will it feel like? The poundage of pull varies greatly depending on the size of the person, as well as their kind of compression, but it can be anywhere between just 5 pounds of pull to 100 pounds of pull.
Have no fear: a qualified, experienced chiropractor will be well-versed in applying only the pressure that your body needs to feel great. Unlike inversion therapy, these tables have sensors that can tell when muscles tense and resist the stretch, and lessen the force of pull until the muscles relax.
Typically, spinal decompression treatment for lower back pain happens over the course of 15 to 30, 30-minute appointments in the span of about 4 to 6 weeks for maximum health benefits.
The Theory of Spinal Decompression Therapy
What’s the reasoning behind all that pulling in spinal decompression therapy? In between each of our vertebrae are cushioned discs that keep our spine free of pain and happy. They are rubbery, and act like shock absorbers for each individual bone in our spine. These discs can become compressed, and even start to tear and bulge, causing a great deal of pain.
The discs in between our vertebrae are made of tougher cartilage on the outside, but on the inside they are filled with fluid: not just water, but nutrient-giving fluid - a lot like a jelly donut. Over time as our bodies age, these discs can start to harden and dehydrate, losing some of the natural shock absorption they once had, and causing pain.
This is where spinal decompression comes to the rescue: With negative pressure in the discs. By relieving the pressure placed on these discs with gentle stretching, oxygen, nutrients, and that fluid can again flow back into the discs, taking away the weight placed on these discs, and providing space for fluid to flow so your body can “refill” its natural shock absorbers.
Who Should Consider Spinal Decompression
So who is a good candidate for spinal decompression? Lots of people! It’s a great alternative therapy for those who have lower back pain or neck pain, compressed, bulging, or herniated discs, and sciatic pain, as well as degenerative disc disease. It offers relief from pain without the long recovery process or invasive, often dangerous procedures associated with surgery.
Since spinal decompression therapy is a surgery-free way to relieve pain and improve back health, it doesn’t require the prescription painkillers that follow an operation, during the healing process. Those susceptible to issues with prescription drug abuse will appreciate the pain relief without addictive or harmful painkillers. Many find that spinal decompression therapy relieves back pain in such a way that they can avoid painkillers for back pain altogether.
There are times that spinal decompression therapy just isn’t a good fit. For pregnant women, patients with broken vertebrae or fused vertebrae, a history of unsuccessful spine surgeries, or artificial discs or implants, spinal decompression therapy is not a recommended procedure. However, many others have found the gentle, healing properties of spinal decompression therapy to be the solution to their back pain.
Want to find out if spinal decompression therapy is right for you? Contact us today. With a team of skilled chiropractors focused on the total health of your spine, South Orange Chiropractic Center is committed to finding the right solution to alleviate your back pain, so you can resume the rest of your life.