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How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Work?

Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression therapy uses the same basic principle of spinal traction that has been offered by medical professionals for years. It is a type of traction therapy applied to the spine in an attempt to bring about several theoretical benefits including:

  • Create a negative intradiscal pressure to promote retraction or repositioning of the herniated or bulging disc material.

  • Create a lower pressure in the disc that will cause an influx of healing nutrients and other substances into the disc.

Both traction and spinal decompression are applied with the goals of relieving pain and promoting an optimal healing environment for bulging, degenerating or herniated discs. Non-surgical spinal decompression uses a therapeutic table that is connected to a computer, to electronically stretch and decompress your injured spinal structures. While lying on a table a padded harness gently seperates a targeted spinal area.

There are other treatments for back pain, but are not the best approach:
Medications
Some drugs lead to prolonged use and they tend to cover up the underlying problem with a wide variety of damaging side effects.
Epidural Injections
These are invasive and any results, in most cases, are only temporary, lasting from a few days to a few months.
Surgery
According to the 2002 Johns Hopkins White Paper on Low Back Pain and Osteoporosis by John P. Kostulk, M.D. and Simeon Margolis, M.D., PhD., surgery “is not the treatment of choice for most people with back pain.” The report goes on to say “fewer than 5% of people with back pain are good candidates for surgery.” “Surgery ought to be used when all other measures have been explored and if it appears that there is a strong probability that it will improve the condition.”

Although there have been advancements in spinal surgery, outcomes can be unpredictable. Failed-back surgery/post-operative pain syndrome is a troubling reality from surgical intervention. Less than 1 out of 4 disc surgeries are successful after 5 years, and there is increased risk that additional surgery will be needed (17-20%). Other risks that also need to be considered include the side effects from anesthesia, infection, bleeding, nerve disruption and instability of the spinal column.

Every treatment program is different, however most people will feel some immediate relief of the pressure in the area where your pain exists within the first few sessions. This specialized therapy combined with our spinal rehabilitative program can help you get out of pain and prevent spinal surgery.

Prior to beginning treatments, we evaluate you to determine if you are a candidate. Your history, x-rays, CT/ MRI scans if available are reviewed. If you are a candidate for spinal decompression an indivual treatment program will be designed for your condition.

The bottom line is that Spinal Decompression Therapy is a safe and effective approach to disc healing and back pain relief that you may want to try before considering drugs or surgery. Our Seattle back pain experts are there with you through every step of your recovery.

A Critical Approach to Conventional Treatment Options

 

There are many other treatment options for back pain

Medications
Some drugs lead to prolonged use and they tend to cover up the underlying problem with a wide variety of damaging side effects.

1.  
2.  Epidural injections: These are invasive and any results, in most cases, are only temporary, lasting from a few days to a few months.
3.  Surgery: According to the 2002 Johns Hopkins White Paper on Low Back Pain and Osteoporosis by John P. Kostulk, M.D. and Simeon Margolis, M.D., PhD., surgery “is not the treatment of choice for most people with back pain.” The report goes on to say “fewer than 5% of people with back pain are good candidates for surgery.” “Surgery ought to be used when all other measures have been explored and if it appears that there is a strong probability that it will improve the condition.”

Although there have been advancements in spinal surgery, outcomes can be unpredictable. Failed-back surgery/post-operative pain syndrome is a troubling reality from surgical intervention. Less than 1 out of 4 disc surgeries are successful after 5 years, and there is increased risk that additional surgery will be needed (17-20%). Other risks that also need to be considered include the side effects from anesthesia, infection, bleeding, nerve disruption and instability of the spinal column.

The bottom line is that Spinal Decompression Therapy is a safe and effective approach to disc healing and back pain relief that you may want to try before considering drugs or surgery. Our Seattle back pain experts are there with you through every step of your recovery.