Spinal decompression therapy may be an option for people who have not had success with other treatments for back pain. This nonsurgical procedure is often requested by patients who have exhausted other options.
Adults with low back pain generally come to see Dr. Fast at the Back Pain Clinic in Belleville, IL wanting decompression therapy after other doctors have recommended a spinal fusion, discectomy, or laminectomy. In many cases, we are able to help these patients avoid surgery and obtain long-lasting relief from nerve or back pain.
Reviews of recent popular medical literature revealed that the clinical results of Spinal Decompression Therapy have been effective in over 75% of the people receiving this treatment and most patients find long-term relief and effective management of their pain upon completion of the entire program of treatments.
If you’re undecided about whether or not spinal decompression is right for you, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. Below, you can find information on how decompression therapy can help your spine if you’re dealing with a herniated disc or stenosis.
1. Spinal Decompression Helps Relieve Nerve Pressure
As you lie on a decompression table, the machine gradually realigns your spine. This removes the pressure on your discs, which prevents them from pressing against nearby nerves. In many cases, this reduces pain and inflammation in your body.
If your discs are misaligned and compress nerves, you may experience sharp, shooting pains, tingling, numbness, and burning sensations. Moving herniated or bulging discs away from nearby nerves can help prevent and decrease these issues.
2. Decompression May Help Prevent Spinal Surgery
When chiropractic care and physical therapy fail, many patients turn to therapeutic injections. Unfortunately, these injections may not offer permanent relief, so some patients fear that surgery may be their only long-term solution.
Spinal decompression therapy can help some patients prevent or postpone spinal surgery, including spinal fusions or discectomy surgeries, in fact, many of our patients are surprised by how well this nonsurgical therapy helps herniated discs return to their intended positions rather than rejecting them.
3. Decompression Therapy Can Help Your Spine Heal From Chronic Pain
Spinal decompression not only helps with acute flare-ups, but also chronic pain, because it gets to the root of the problem instead of just masking the symptoms. When bulging discs retract, it eases the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the spinal area, which helps the body repair damaged nerves and muscles by reducing swelling and inflammation.
Inflammation is often responsible for pain in the spine, so decreasing inflammation also decreases the symptoms of a misaligned spine.
4. Decompression Therapy Gently Stretches Your Spine
Spinal decompression therapy stretches your spine, temporarily expanding the area around it so that discs can return to their correct places. This also encourages fluid circulation in areas that were previously restricted, so your body can deliver much-needed nutrients to damaged or diseased parts of your spine.
While you rest, you are carefully buckled into a harness connected to a gentle yet effective machine. We input custom data about your condition, then let the machine work its magic for up to 45 minutes per session. We may also combine other treatments, such as cold laser therapy or electrical stimulation, with your decompression.
5. Decompression Therapy Can Provide Fast Relief
Spinal decompression is generally gentle and effective, with treatments lasting around 45 minutes. Many people report decreased pain after just one treatment, but additional appointments may be needed to maintain results. This is because discs often return to their original positions, even if it isn’t good for the body.
After a few sessions of spinal decompression, your spine may stay in the correct position, which could lead to long-term relief from the constant pain you used to have. If your spine needs frequent treatments, you may have to come see us a few times a week for a month or two. This gives us enough time to help your spine heal as much as possible.
6. Spinal Decompression Treats Different Conditions
Decompression therapy is typically used for patients with pain in the low-to-mid back, but it can be used for other conditions as well. Spinal decompression can help provide relief for patients with conditions like:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Injured or infected nerves in the spine
- Posterior facet syndrome
If you’re not sure you have one of these conditions or a similar one that may benefit from decompression therapy, we can take a look during a complete physical exam, which may include digital imaging.
7. Spinal Decompression Helps Retract Herniated Discs
Herniated discs are notoriously difficult to treat because your body may get used to their new out-of-whack position, even if it causes discomfort. Many doctors try to get discs back to their correct positions, only to find that they have moved back to their incorrect positions during follow-up care. Spinal decompression therapy may help your discs return to their correct locations and stay there for long-term relief.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Spinal Decompression
Decompression therapy may be a good alternative for some patients with back pain, but it is not suitable for everyone. If you have had back surgery or have implants, please let us know. Patients with fractured vertebrae, tumors, or a history of aneurysms should not have this therapy and should explore other options.
Spinal decompression is usually safe, but in some cases it can cause rare side effects like more pain, muscle spasms, and tingling sensations. You can help reduce the risk of these side effects by being honest with us about your current condition and any other treatments you’re receiving. We’ll also coordinate with your other health care providers to make sure we have all the relevant information.