Spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical traction procedure that effectively treats low back and neck pain with or without radiating leg and arm pain. Spinal decompression therapy decompresses spinal discs and facet joints by utilizing traction, distraction, and body positioning.
By significantly reducing internal disc pressure, decompression promotes retraction of the herniated spinal disc material back to a normal physiologic position and promotes the intake of fluids, oxygen, and other substances necessary for healing the spinal disc and surrounding tissues. This decompression stimulates the repair of tissues. Recent research has shown that 86% of the 219 patients who completed decompression therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment (Gionis, Thomas MD; Groteke, Eric DC. Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression. Orthopedic Technology Review. 2003; 6 (5).
How Is Spinal Decompression Therapy different than traditional traction?
Traditional traction utilizes a steady traction pull. As a result, our spinal muscles may involuntarily contract which makes unloading the injured spinal disc unsuccessful. Spinal decompression therapy uses computer technology to control variations in the unloading (traction pull) of the spine, effectively avoiding the body’s muscle contraction response.
How Long Are Treatments And How Many Do You Need?
Patients typically undergo 15 to 20 decompression/traction treatment sessions and the treatment session will include additional physical therapy. A complete therapy session can last between 45 and 60 minutes.
Will Spinal Decompression/Traction Therapy Hurt?
Treatments using decompression are gentle and comfortable. The treatments utilize FDA-approved equipment with proven safety and efficacy. Most patients report a mild sense of stretching on their back or hips, and often fall asleep during treatment sessions.
Why the Need For Therapeutic Exercises And Other Therapies?
A complete physical therapy program targeting the function of the spinal stabilization muscles is vital. Moist heat, electric stimulation, ultrasound therapy, exercises, trigger point injections, soft tissue and joint mobilization offer additional benefits for reduction of inflammation and muscle spasm.