In our youth, our vertebrae have fluid between them within disks that work as a cushion between each vertebra to protect them. However, as we age, the amount of fluid the disks retain begins to diminish, reducing the amount of protection our back has. This is why people typically lose some of their height as they age. It also increases the risk of back injuries. Since our spine is the support system for our body, naturally it is vital we keep it in the best shape we can. This is where spinal decompression comes into play.
Spinal decompression works by stretching out the spine through a type of motorized traction. This process removes the pressure on the disks between the vertebrae. This allows the disks to replenish their water, nutrient-rich fluids, and oxygen levels. This not only allows the vertebrae to more effectively prevent future wear and tear, but can additionally help the body to more effectively recover from spinal injuries. In addition, this release of pressure that the decompression causes can also allow herniated or bulging disks to re-align themselves, providing relief as they take pressure off nerves in the spine. This can not only provide relief from back pain, but pain arising in other areas of the body due to the pressure placed on those nerves.
Doctors use spinal decompression for a variety of back issues, including but not limited to:
• Diseased or injured spinal nerve roots
• Back and neck pain
• Bulging or herniated disks
• Sciatica (pain, tingling, or weakness that travels down one or both legs)
• Worn spinal joints
• Degenerative disk disease
One main benefit that spinal decompression offers over surgical options is that it eliminates the recovery process associated with surgery. It also allows one to avoid other complications that can arise from surgery, such as infection, pain, blood clots, fatigue, and more. With spinal decompression, there is no recovery time. You do the treatment, then are able to go on your way immediately after. In fact, many of the benefits that spinal decompression offers are immediate.
The process of spinal decompression is fairly simple. The patient is placed onto the therapy table and secured to the table. Then, the doctor programs the client’s specific therapy treatment into the machine. This includes the duration of time spent as well as the angles (or “levels”) the machine will place the spine into. The process is typically described as quite relaxing. Many patients will even find themselves dozing off as they are treated. After decompression, the client is then directed to do exercises designed to improve the stabilization of the spine. Treatments can vary anywhere from 3 to 5 times per week for a length of approximately 15 to 20 sessions.
Note that while spinal decompression is a great alternative to surgery, it is not for everyone. Those who are obese or pregnant cannot do spinal decompression. Other types of health conditions and medical issues may prevent an individual from being suited for spinal decompression as well. As such, always be sure to speak with your primary physician to ensure that spinal decompression is suited for you. It can be a great way to not only improve your back if you already have issues, but as a preventative measure to reduce your risk of back complications in the future.
Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person due to lifestyle, healthy eating, body type and dedication to the program. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.