Spinal Decompression

When you are experiencing back pain it can be difficult to perform your daily activities.

Many patients turn to medical or surgical options in an attempt to relieve pain as quickly as possible. Though it is understandable that these solutions would be appealing for people who are experiencing debilitating pain every day, it is important to remember all of the negative side effects that accompany these quick methods. While surgery might successfully resolve your pain in the long run, you have to deal with all of the rehabilitation and post-operative complications to your life. With medication, doctors are often just treating the pain, not fixing the cause.

Instead of masking the pain with medication or dealing with the risks of surgical options, choose a treatment option that works on fixing the problem. Many times degenerating, herniated, or bulging discs are the sources of back pain. Discs rest between vertebrae and serve both to cushion and absorb shock. With age, discs are more likely to degenerate and cease functioning optimally. The discs are shaped similarly to a donut, with the insides filled with a jelly-like substance. When the discs are herniated, the jelly from the inside has leaked out through a hole caused by degeneration. The leaking fluid can cause pain, specifically when it puts pressure on nearby nerves.

The three forms of disc problems generally referred to are:

  • Herniated Discs: Occurs when the jelly on the inside leaks out.
  • Bulging Discs: Occurs when the disc extends outside the area it should occupy. When the disc bulges out of its designated location it puts pressure on the surrounding vertebrae and nerves, causing pain.
  • Degenerated Discs: Similar to herniated discs, however not always leaking. The degeneration causes the discs to be less full and function less effectively.

If you are experiencing back pain because of a degenerated, herniated, or bulging disc, spinal decompression therapy could be a good option for you. Chiropractors perform the therapy using a highly specialized machine. The therapy works by slowly and gently stretching the spine, which changes its positioning, alignment, and force. When the pressure is reduced, the vertebrae separate from each other. This creates a vacuum inside the discs, which can also be referred to as negative intra-discal pressure.

The negative pressure can make the part of the disc that was herniated or bulging return inside the disc. This process can take six to eight weeks worth of sessions. Though it is somewhat slow moving, the results are well worth the wait. Stretching the spine relieves pressure that the discs are under. Some practices often run specials on spinal decompression therapy such as free treatments and reviews.

Spinal decompression can be recommended for patients with disc problems as well as those experiencing

  • Lumbar Muscle Strains: Can be caused by a variety of improper movements, like lifting your knees.
  • Spinal Stenosis: A narrowing of the open spaces within the spine. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
  • Sciatica: Refers to the pain that is experienced along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back and down each leg. The pain usually stems from a herniated disc or bone spur on the spine compressing a nerve.
  • Pinched Nerves: Nerves communicate messages around the body. When one is compressed or pinched it is usually as a result of pressure from a number of factors, including but not limited to, herniated discs.
  • Carpal Tunnel: Caused by a compressed nerve in the wrist. The nerve compression leads to sharp, piercing pain that gets progressively worse over time.

Spinal decompression therapy can help by reducing pressure for all of these conditions, even those unrelated to disc pain. If you are interested in learning more about spinal decompression therapy, visit the American Chiropractic Association.