Spinal Decompression Therapy

Intermittent Traction with Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal Decompression Therapy is a revolutionary therapy that is affordable, highly effective, FDA cleared, and very safe. Most individuals receiving chiropractic treatment with decompression have been able to avoid and operation and opiate dependence with spinal decompression treatment.

It works great for neck and back pain due to arthritis, facet syndrome, leg pain from sciatica or spinal stenosis and arm pain from radiculopathy. It is a non-invasive therapy that involves intermittent spinal traction – there is no old school harsh pulling traction, and the result is highly effective.
Many individuals in pain are able to get out of depression from pain, start working again, play with their kids again, k and GET BACK INTO LIFE!

There are quite a few spinal decompression therapy tables being used today, and no research study has shown any one brand to be superior to all others.  So if your chiropractor uses a table that does not  have the video screen and huge space taking “footprint”, it most likely works just as well for your pain problem as the more expensive, space age looking model.

Some decompression tables require individuals to lay on their backs, whereas some allow people to lay prone, which is face down. Depending on the type of back pain the person is suffering from, this might be extremely helpful. Many people fall asleep during spinal decompression therapy sessions, as they can be relaxing yet effective.
The traction is intermittent, so decompression therapy works in a different way than conventional lumbar traction. The oscillation and frequency of the treatment allows enhanced blood flow and oxygen to enter the problem areas.

This usually decreases pain and permits people to sleep better, enjoy socializing and family time more, start working again, basically getting back their lives!

Most therapy tables allow for neck pain too with a special attachment as seen to the right. The attachment is comfortable and with either the neck or low back, the positioning is tailored to the patient’s specific height and weight for most comfort.

FAQ’s on Spinal Decompression Therapy

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
Spinal Decompression Therapy is a nonoperative treatment, predominantly safe, FDA Cleared,  that is excellent at reducing all forms of neck/back, arm and leg pain. The decompression apparatus works by intermittent traction, not conventional continuous traction.

How Does Spinal Decompression Treatment Work?
The treatment is traction-based, that applies and gradually releases force on the spine that acts to deceive the spine into separating but not going into spasm. A negative pressure is created inside the disc spaces, which then permits increased blood flow into the disc which carries along  oxygen and nutrients for healing. This permits the herniated or bulging disk to be pulled back into the normal disc area, which facilitates healing to occur.

What Medical Problems Benefit from Lumbar and/or Neck Spinal Decompression?
Degenerative Disc Disease
· Facet Syndrome · Bulging Discs · Herniated Discs Neck & Back Spinal Stenosis · Sciatica · Spinal Arthritis ·Failed Surgery · Radiculopathy

Is Spinal Decompression Therapy Painful? How Many Therapy Sessions are Necessary?
For most individuals, treatment does not cause pain either for low back or neck decompression. People often simply fall asleep during the treatments. Based on existing studies and most doctor experience, the most effectiveness occurs with 20 lumbar or cervical decompression treatments over about six weeks. To reduce inflammation and enhance healing, additional treatment includes passive therapies (ice/heat/muscle stimulation),
physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments (when indicated) to strengthen the spinal muscles.

Are there Studies that Show Spinal Decompression Therapy to be Effective?
There are quite a few actually, although none are randomized and large. In a 1998 study, Eyerman found in 20 patients that spinal decompression therapy resulted in reduction of disc herniation  rehydration of discs in over half of individuals. This study was for low back decompression only.

A 1997 research study by Shealy et al showed that 86% of ruptured disk participants obtained good to excellent results with spinal decompression therapy. Sciatica and back pain were alleviated substantially and of the patients with facet arthritis, 75% obtained good to excellent results.

One of the most well known research papers on spinal decompression therapy was in 2003 by Gionis et al. With over 200 patients, 86% who finished therapy described immediate symptom abatement, while 84% stayed pain free 90 days after decompression therapy. Physical examination findings showed 92 percent improvement and stayed improved in 89 percent three months later.

Are there Medical Problems where Decompression Therapy is Not Recommended?
Spinal Decompression Therapy is contraindicated for
pregnant women, those who have severe osteoporosis,  or after a spinal surgery when hardware is in place like screws and rods. Spinal fusion surgery with no hardware is okay along with spinal surgery with no fusion.

Do Individuals Also Obtain Physical Therapy?
Typically yes. To reduce  inflammation and assist the healing process, PT is often combined as well to strengthen the para-spinal muscles. Also passive treatments like ice and heat, TENS units,  electric muscle stimulation, and chiropractic manipulations are added to the mix.

What is the Cost of Decompression and does Insurance cover it?
The cost for 20 treatments usually ranges anywhere from $1500 to $4000, which is very reasonable considering the cost  associated with spine surgery.

It’s debatable whether health insurance pays for spinal decompression therapy. Some practices have negotiated with insurance companies regarding it and there is actually some coverag. Make sure to ask the individual practice how it is handled with your particular insurance plan. Most chiropractors and pain doctors offer spinal decompression therapy as a cash based fee for service treatment.

The Bottom Line on Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal decompression therapy has helped thousands avoid spinal surgery. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, surgery is no more effective than non-surgical treatments, including chiropractic adjustments,
pain management injections, spinal decompression therapy, and physical therapy for those with disc herniations and sciatica. Spinal decompression therapy is very safe,  affordable, and very effective for a lot of medical conditions including back, neck, arm, and leg pain.